Seeing God in Your Cancer Journey Program
Introductory Meeting Material
God is Bigger Than Your Cancer
God is bigger than your cancer. Have you ever heard such sweet words? There is something passionately comforting in knowing that this heinous disease that has seeped into your life is not in charge of your life: God is.
After diagnosis, cancer can stalk you like a giant, always in your sight no matter what you do or where you go. This is true for both those persons with cancer and those loved ones standing by their sides. For anyone close to this disease, cancer requires a huge amount of focus to process the tons of information your doctors throw at you. Comprehending the choices of treatment, the date of appointments, the names of prescriptions, or the types of side effects leaves little energy to understand the emotional impact of cancer. Although it’s a struggle to take it all in, here’s the important thing- you can’t let cancer take over your life.
Cancer doesn’t get to swallow your days and your nights. It doesn’t get to put stress in your life or plague you with fear. It doesn’t get to come between you and your loved ones and it doesn’t get to come between you and your God. For many, these emotional and spiritual cancer battles can be as difficult as the physical battles. In short, cancer does not get to be more important than the most important things in your life. The most important things in your life are the things you can use to push the cancer back so you can breathe again.
Before a cancer diagnosis, you could easily see the most important things in your life, the things that made life full, rich, and worth living: sitting in the backyard with the sun on your face, watching your favorite baseball team win in the bottom of the 9th, buying a silly birthday card for your granddaughter, helping your neighbor fix his car, eating a tomato fresh off the vine, singing a favorite song in church. The most important things in your life bring joy, hope, fulfillment and purpose. Christ is the Light to reach in the darkness of cancer so you can thrive on the blessings He has given you.
- What were the most important things in your life before your diagnosis?
- Which of these things are still important? Do you have new things that are important?
- If cancer is not the most important thing in your life, how do you figure out where it fits?
Jesus is a master at pushing back the chaos of cancer for everyone. Whether you have drawn close to Him since childhood, wandered from the comfort of His presence, or know Jesus only as an acquaintance or stranger, it doesn’t matter. Jesus sees you as His precious child and He is with you now. He is closer than your breath. Whether sitting in the chemo room or waiting for your scan results, Jesus is with you.
As a believer in Christ, you may know that through life or death, Christ is always with you. But please also know this: Jesus has much more to offer you than the certainty of your salvation. Beyond being your Savior, I pray you come to know Jesus as:
- the rock that holds you when you’re weak.
- the arms that lift you from the depth.
- the light that flickers in your darkness.
- the voice that soothes you in the silence.
Jesus is all you need and more.
Wherever you are in your relationship with Jesus, He wants you to come even closer. Listen to this promise from God:
Come near to God and He will come near to you. James 4:8
- Looking at this verse, as you move towards God, what will God do?
- How does that make you feel?
Just think of that! The closer you draw to God, the closer the Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, will come to you! I pray that this program provides a path for you to draw closer to God in the chaos called cancer.
As a young child, my daughter Heidi was a good snuggler. When I held her on my hip, it was like she molded into my side. Sometimes she would cling to me with all her might but usually we would just walk around together with neither one of us even using our hands to hold on. I could cook a meal, start the laundry, or vacuum the floor and there she would sit, perfectly attached to my side. My Grandma used to say, “Put that child down or she’ll never learn to walk,” but I didn’t care. I carried Heidi everywhere. As long as she was right by my side, I never worried about her wandering off or getting hurt. Snuggled in my arms, I knew she was safe. She certainly seemed to know she was safe too.
But not everyone is a good snuggler. Some kids are so active, they give you a good hug but the next minute they’re ready to get down. Other kids feel like dead weight in your arms. Carrying them feels like you’re carrying a box of books instead of a cuddly child. And of course there are the kids that do not want to be held under any circumstances. They push against you when you hold them, making their desire to escape painfully clear. It’s sad really. Because you know that every child could use a good snuggle.
The true master of the good snuggle is God. God wants to do more than carry you through life. He wants for you to fall into His loving arms and mold yourself into Him until you are a perfect fit. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” In this verse the word “draw” means to “join one thing to another”. God does not want to shake hands with you or give you a pat on the back. God wants you to fold yourself into His loving arms until you are completely joined together with Him.
Despite the sweetness of falling into God’s loving embrace, we’ve all been tempted to break away. Are there’s still times you give God a quick hug, then hurry on your way? Or do you sometimes sit in God’s arms like a box of books unwilling to draw close. Painfully, we’ve each taken our turn pushing God away when we so desperately needed to draw deeper into His loving arms. Leaving God’s embrace can bring feelings of excitement, independence, or determination, but do we feel safe? No. True safety only comes from the arms of God.
Some of my sweetest memories of being a mom are of carrying Heidi. I’ve no doubt that God has sweet thoughts of you as you slowly nestled down into His arms. Can you imagine resting your head upon His shoulder and folding yourself into His embrace? Draw near to God, my friend, and He will draw near to you.