Whenever I hear about someone finding out they have cancer, there’s a lump that forms deep in my throat. Immediately I go back and remember our own news. I relive the emotions and fears. All of the questions surface again. And my heart aches for the other person. I sat on my porch today and prayed for an old friend who just found out she has cancer. Through tears, I interceded on her behalf, knowing how scary that diagnosis truly is. And for her to finally say it out loud, that’s even scarier.
Then I have many other friends right now who have either lost a cherished loved one to cancer or are in the process of watching someone they love die from it. There are so many people that I love and care for that are hurting right now, all because of that dreaded disease of cancer.
Each diagnosis is different. Each journey begins and ends differently. But the emotions are the same. Fear. Sadness. Doubt. So many are scared of what they will leave behind, afraid of the years they will miss with kids and grandkids if they lose the battle. Others are afraid of the process and treatments. But then there’s a moment that everyone, even those who aren’t battling cancer must face: Am I afraid to die?
Until we have to think about it, death seems far away. As my husband faced cancer this year, death is something we had to talk about, because suddenly it became a possibility. But not just talk about death, we had to examine our spiritual lives and ask, “God, am I right with you?” Being right with God is more than just making good decisions and living a good life. It’s not a balancing act either, of does my good outweigh my bad. Being right with God means that at some point we have realized that we are steeped in sin and there’s no way we can do this life on our own. It means that we accept the fact that God sent Jesus to die for our sin-filled self and we turn away from our old way of living. We choose God and invite Him into our life as our Savior. And we stop living for all of the things we used to live for.
When we get our life right with God, we aren’t living for our selfish desires anymore. Everything changes. Our reason for getting up. The way we view the world. How we see ourselves. Peace and love flood our souls. And there is a hope that wasn’t there before. Hope that our years or months left on earth can be filled with blessing. Hope that when we die we will enter the gates of heaven. Hope that for eternity we will be in no more pain. Hope that death isn’t the end.
As cancer hits so many around us, I challenge you to examine your own life. Are you right with God? Are you confident in what happens after you die? Facing death changes a lot of things. Make sure you’re walking with the Lord now, not just relying on a commitment you made as a kid. Are you ready?