I like to consider myself a relatively young guy. My health is great, I’m almost in shape, my age is still a few years south of 50 and my wife and I are expecting a child next spring. So the words “We need to scan you for cancer” were just not on my radar screen.
Let me back up just a bit. I had a symptom, that shall we say, gave rise and concern to my doctor that I could have cancer. Mind you, very unlikely, but still the symptom for all intent and purposes required the doctor to order me for a CAT scan. Yip yip yahoo.
Early the next morning they injected me with dye and in and out of the tube I went. Two days later came the call; “Mark, your scan was all clear.” Yes! But now we want to run a scope (camera) in you. You want to run a what… where?! I will spare you the specifics. The CAT scan, as it turns out, was a cake walk compared to the scope. Once again the result was the same, “You’re all clear.”
But not everyone hears those words.
When I left the doctor’s office that afternoon she said; “we better check you for cancer”, I must admit I had an uncommon peace. It was a half-hour drive back to my office, so I had some time to let those words sink in. You know what? I was o.k. if it turned out to be cancer. I suppose that is easy to say now, but it was absolutely true then. God is God, He is sovereign and if this was next for my life then I was going to make sure He got the glory through it.
But not everyone has peace when it comes to cancer.
That is why I appreciate our ReMission ministry at Grace. The “C” word is one of the scariest words a person can hear. A whole gamete of emotions and thoughts race through a person who, unlike me, does not have their tests come back all clear. If there was ever a time someone needs to hear the “words of eternal life” and if there was ever time to “comfort others with the comfort we are ourselves have been comforted with by God” it is when they hear; “You have cancer.”
Despite a broken, sin cursed world; God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. He has done so through His Holy Word, His Holy Helper and the body of Christ. God has ordained that we should not walk alone through the valley of the shadow of death. He has promised not to leave or forsake His children. Though, for some, the outward man perishes as they battle cancer, He has promised the inward man can be made new. God is love because He heals souls. The greater love of God is to heal what is eternal not the temporal (although He can do both!).
That is what our cancer ministry is all about. Ministering not only with comfort and support; but with the words of eternal life, hope and the healing of the soul.
So, if you ever hear the “C” word, remember the ReMission ministry and the words of the apostle Peter; “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”