Don’t Waste Your Cancer – A Horribly Wrapped Package

IMG_1098(Part 2 in a 11 part series based on John Piper’s booklet, “Don’t Waste You Cancer)

 #2 – We waste our cancer if we do not believe it is designed for us by God.

I struggle with this second point from his book. I do believe God allowed cancer in my life. Somehow, in the mass of humanity, I was chosen against the odds for Multiple Myeloma (African-American men get it the most, then Caucasian men, African-American women and lastly Caucasian women).

It is hard for me to think of the God I love handing me cancer. I can’t imagine giving such a horrible gift to one of my children.

But if I take a step back and try in my feeble mind to look at it from the eyes of a loving God, maybe I can begin to gasp it.

We all die. It is the result of sin, a fallen world. But how does a loving God determine the way we die. Some go quickly while others suffer. Some have medical intervention while others have none. Some people live with daily diseases, trying to regulate their lives for just a few extra days.

How does he decide how we die? Are the kinds of death like playing cards he randomly deals out? That doesn’t fit my view of God. I think he must know who can handle what and the impact it will have on those around them. I think, in his love, he does suddenly call some home. And I think in his love, he does ask some to suffer.

Can suffering and love coexist? I know in my case, my suffering causes me to turn to God. My suffering is physical and emotional, but it is also spiritual. It’s not enough to hope that my doctor is wise or that the medicine will work. To get through suffering, I need more.

“What God permits, he permits for a reason,” John Piper says. As I chew on that statement, I have to agree. He permitted cancer into my life. There is a reason I was chosen versus someone else. I may never know the reason, but cancer does make me more dependent on Him.

And I know it has an effect on the lives of others who are seeing me go through it. God is doing something in their lives also. I often say, “God didn’t just bring cancer into my life. He brought it into my husband’s life, my children’s lives, the lives of my grandchildren and friends.” Accepting it personally is, in part, to help others accept it and to allow God to work through in their lives. In the same way God and cancer makes me dependent on God, I want to encourage them.

So I guess, reluctantly, I have to agree: God designed this cancer for me. He didn’t just allow it. It’s a precious gift in a horribly wrapped package. As I tear the paper, I can’t wait to get rid of it. The future is what is inside.

What is your perspective? Do you think God chooses us personally? I’m interested in what you think so please comment.

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