I am on the cusp of rereleasing my debut book under its new title, Soul Work for Cancer: Living a Life Interrupted by Cancer.
Please Pray for/Worry about Me
July 1, 2011
I find myself offended when I hear, “I’m worried about you.” I should take the comment as, “You matter to me and I sincerely care about your circumstances,” but all too often, I flat out reject those words.
I am not a person who worries. As soon as I catch myself starting to fret, I go to God. He takes my concerns and does something beneficial with them as I present my burden in a faith-filled prayer. I find worry to be a foolish waste of time; it accomplishes nothing, disregards the power of prayer, and takes a toll on us physically.
My sixteen-year-old son, Travis, has been driving for a few months; I have been extremely relieved to have the help. “Are you worried about him driving?” people ask me all the time. I’m sure it seems rude when I respond, “Why would I worry?” What in the world is worry going to do for me? In fact, worry is a sin. Am I going to let my sixteen-year-old son’s accomplishment lead me to sin? Rather, it brings me more opportunities to care for him, his friends, and everyone else on the road as I intercede in prayer. (The same goes for my seven-year-old zooming down our street on his two-wheel bicycle or my thirteen-year-old long-boarding in ways I cannot fathom.)
Travis has a Jeep, and I know, more than most, the dangers of a teenager in a Jeep. I lost a dear friend in my early teens to an accident in such a vehicle. I have researched the current safety of Jeeps (okay, my husband did) and taught that boy right from wrong until I was blue in the face, so now it’s time to hand him over (in certain areas) to The Lord. I want Travis to wake me up when he gets home at night, but rest assured, he will have to wake me up. I’m not spending the time God has given me to restore beauty by worrying about whether Travis has had an accident. If there’s a problem, I’ll hear about it, and in the meantime, where is worrying going to get me?
I need to clarify that before Christ became my all and all, I worried more than most. My ability not to worry has developed as my relationship has grown with God; I have seen Him care for many others as well as me during severe hardships. I used to worry that every news story and personal tragedy I’d hear about was certain to happen to me. I am pretty sure I inadvertently associated worry with readiness for crisis or perhaps some type of protection against it. At some point, however, I realized worry truly is nothing but a sleep-robber and a slap in God’s face.
The Bible is clear about our trials; they will happen.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33, NIV)
The Bible is also clear about worry.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:25-34, NIV)
So here you go; I have an issue. You can worry about me or pray for me.
I found out Friday I have a mass in my colon that needs to be removed pronto. The biopsy result will be back this week. Even in the light of such uncertainty, I have continued my pattern of not worrying. The urgency expressed by the doctor who discovered this issue led me to think the possibility of it being cancer was real.
What if it is cancer? What if it is inoperable, which I highly doubt, but what if it were? I have peace. I know that my destination is Heaven, and if that destination comes soon, I will be Home and my God will care for all my needs.
How ultra cool! I don’t think I’m going to Heaven any time soon, but I don’t know. I don’t hope God will provide for my husband, children, grandchildren, daughter-in-laws, etc. I know He will. I know Who my God is. I know what He can do. I trust Him and His perfect plan for my life and the lives of those I love. I am His daughter, whom He died for, and He adores me (despite my sin and yuckiness toward people and things He loves).
His ability to heal me is without limit, so let’s ask that this mass be benign and easily removed without complication. Let’s ask that the timing be perfect and the healing be swift.
If He chooses not to answer our prayers the way we ask (or respond to someone’s worry), let us praise Him still. Let’s make a commitment to believe that He is God; He can do anything, and whatever He chooses is good. What if you grow nearer to Him by praying for me? What if you learn the value of prayer over worry? Will that not be worth it for me? My whole life is already dedicated to you knowing my God. Can this be one step He has ordained for you to draw nearer to Him?
I will make decisions on this journey based on prayer and wisdom.
I will receive His perfect providence, whatever it is. I have decided to share it with you so you can see why I love Him so much. If there is cancer, I will share as I seek direction from Him (since I would never put chemicals into my body unless He calls me to do so). If you are familiar with the story of the birth of our fourth son, you know I went conventional by God’s leading, and that saved the life of my son.
If my circumstances speak to your heart, I hope you will bless me with prayer, not wear yourself down with worry.
Please get a copy of Soul Work for Cancer to see how that dedication to faith played out on some very dark days and laugh along as I let humor provide for me when I got used to some new normals.