Two friends awaited pathology results to tell them if they had cancer last week. In both cases, the results were good; no cancer was found. But others are not as fortunate. I remember when I got the news five years ago and it was devastating.
John Piper wrote a pamphlet on the eve of his surgery for prostate cancer, “Don’t Waste Your Cancer.” Mr. Piper describes how he felt fine one day, and the next day he found out he wasn’t. Five years post-surgery, Mr. Piper recognizes that only God knows how he really is, God cares and rules, and that is enough.
This little pamphlet is only 15 pages long, but it is packed with wisdom of hope and faith. It might not be good reading on the eve of a cancer diagnosis, but I too am five years post-surgery, and I often tell friends that cancer was the best thing that happened to me. It was my wake-up call to really trust God and to do what He asks me to do for Him to help restore His kingdom.
If you have cancer, or have a friend with cancer, I encourage you to read these short but incredibly uplifting, spirit-filled words of encouragement.
Mr. Piper reminds us that we waste our cancer if we:
1. don’t hear in our own groanings the hope-filled labor pains of a fallen world
2. do not believe it is designed for us by God
3. believe it is a curse and not a gift
4. seek comfort from our odds rather than from God
5. refuse to think about death
6. think that “beating” cancer means staying alive rather than cherishing Christ
7. spend too much time reading about cancer and not enough time reading about God
8. let it drive us into solitude instead of deepen our relationships with manifest affection
9. grieve as those who have no hope
10. treat sin as casually as before
11. fail to use it as a means of witness to the truth and glory of Christ.
Mr. Piper ends with: Remember, you are not left alone. You will have the help you need. “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
I know that I will never treat sin as casually as before, and never fail to use my cancer as a means of witness to the truth and glory of Christ.
Blessings, my friend,