(Part 6 in a 11 part series based on John Piper’s booklet, “Don’t Waste You Cancer)
#6 – We waste our cancer if we think that “beating” cancer means staying alive rather than cherishing Christ.
I don’t know about you, but I have done a fair amount of research about my cancer, multiple myeloma. The Internet has been my friend, with doctors from multiple institutions. I can tell you about statistical odds and technical terms.
I have to catch myself, though, in the midst of my research. Certainly I want the best treatment. Certainly I want to understand. Certainly I want to be a part of decision making. But there is time when statistics, diagnoses, and treatments become moot points. The cancer takes over.
My cancer is considered “incurable.” We knock it down, but it always comes back. There is no “cure.” So that means, after a point, research goes into dark areas. Obituaries start to appear on the Internet. My thoughts start to wander into the valley of hopelessness.
Do I want to beat cancer? You beat. John Piper has gone past the 5-year mark and is considered cured. I’m happy for him. Maybe I will live long enough for them to find a cure, but for now, I face reality.
Where we go wrong is thinking that a cure is good because disease is bad; that life is good because death is bad.
For a Christian, death is just an extension of the eternal life we received when we believed in Jesus for our salvation (John 17:3). Knowing Christ in each stage of my life changed my life. I know the peace I have experienced, the courage, the longings that are not natural to me. As wonderful as it has been, what would make me think it would end in death based on his promises?
Some people think I am a fool to believe in an eternal home with God. But when I look at what they believe in, that dying is the end of being, I feel sorry for them. My faith gives me hope and courage. I wonder about theirs.
In Philippians 1:21, Paul looking at his numbered days wrote, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Those are hard words to ingest, much less live, when death feels so real. We want to fight with everything we have. We want to be courageous. But more importantly, we need to realize…
“Cancer does not win if we die. It wins if we fail to cherish Christ.” (John Piper)