Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Psalm 126:5

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy."

 Yesterday, I got the last Carepage entry for a friend. Well, she isn't really a friend--when Layne was diagnosed, I searched Carepages for others with esophageal cancer. I wanted desperately to read about hope and cure. The first I came across was WMB's--Wally. Wally and his wife fought the good fight. They did all the right things...but yesterday, she was memorializing her two year anniversary without Wally.

 She described the emptiness, the sadness. She opened her aching heart to all who would hear, and then announced that she would no longer be updating the Carepage. I was sad. I wish she would write more, because her battle isn't over. She is carrying the banner for her husband. The battle continues as long as people continue to get diagnosed too late. And she does a nice job of reminding everyone to get an endoscopy done in her posts.

A lot of people think that when the funeral happens, the battle is over. It is not over, and it never will be, for those left behind. We have much to do in the memory of the one we have lost. We have part of us missing that we will try to fill the rest of our lives, but that will never be whole. Don't forget widows and orphans after the funeral. Even two years after the funeral. Remember them, because they cannot forget.

 I'd like to leave you with this wonderful video. It was created by a friend's niece--as a school project. It is one of the most educational videos out there on EC. This young lady misses her grandpa... For her, the battle will rage on...forever.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lamentations 3:19-27

"I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
I remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait patiently for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young."

I'm often asked, as many of our friends pass into the arms of their Savior, "Where is the hope? IS there any hope?"

I love sharing good news about cancer. I love the new remedies, and I love to hear from friends who are beating the beast. While I have many friends who have been freed through death, there are many who are living with cancer, and living well. I think of John, with kidney cancer, and Michelle and Gordon and Charlie, who will have his scans at MD Anderson this week. I think of my friend Pam, who inspires me in so many ways.

This week, news came that a vaccine for cancer is being tested in humans. It is not given BEFORE you get cancer, but it is helping in the fight once you have it. Hopefully in the next few years, it will be available to doctors here in the United States. ( http://www.medicaldaily.com/news/20120409/9473/cancer-immucin-vaccine-clinical-trial-research.htm ) There was also news that cancer rates in the United States are going down. That's hopeful! Wonderful and welcome news!

I'm sure that all of my friends who are having victories over cancer daily will tell you YES there is hope. They would all offer suggestions on treatments and resources. This type of networking is so important when you have cancer. However, I think if you ask John, he'd tell you...your hope is not in that information. Your hope is in God.

The scriptures clearly state there is hope. There is a compassion that never fails. This is true. However, we so often see through the lens of the modern world. We want the results of our prayers to be as we expect. We don't like to leave room for God to work. I know I didn't like the idea of leaving God room to work when cancer came to walk with my family. I wanted God to do what I asked of Him, what I implored Him to do.

I grabbed onto every verse that said every prayer would be answered. I failed to look at how God answers prayer. Sometimes, He answers with what he knows is best and what will work together for good for us. This is not, quite often, what WE think is good for us.

While we mourn here for those we lost...they celebrate with their Savior. While we shed tears, their faces shine with the glory of God. Who are we to question God, who creates and molds universes? How can we not trust someone who loved those of us on earth so much...though we are only a small portion of His vast creation, that he sent his Son to be tortured and put to death on our behalf? Surely, He wants what is best for us.

Our hope, our redemption, is not in doctors, hospitals, or breakthrough treatments. It doesn't matter how well those work, one day, we will leave this earth. Our only hope is in Him.

This is truth...and it is a truth you can grasp tightly to, no matter where life takes you!