Last week, I posted a short devotional entitled “Be Strong and Courageous”. When I wrote it, I knew in my heart that God intended the message for someone in particular…. Little did I know that the “someone” was actually…me!
We all know how much easier it is to preach than to practice, and I’m no exception. It was barely 30 minutes after I had posted last Saturday’s devotional to appear last Saturday that I received a phone call from my doctor’s office. Now, I don’t know about any of the other cancer survivors out there, but every time I get an unsolicited call from my doctor, the little “worry bug” begins to chew on my spirit. Especially in the wake of recent, (supposedly) routine testing. Imagine my surprise when it was the booking clerk phoning to let me know I had been booked for a CT scan. The conversation went something like this:
“A CT scan? But no CT has been ordered. What are they going to scan anyway?”
“But I just had an abdominal MRI done in June.”
“An MRI in June? Let me see why this has been ordered. Okay. Here it is. It is to follow up on the abnormal spots seen on your bones.”
“Abnormal spots on my bones? But no one told me there were any abnormal spots on my bones. And besides, I just had a bone scan, and the results were negative for bone metastasis.”
“You just had a bone scan? Hum. Well this is Dr. ____ who wishes to follow up.”
This doctor is apparently the one who took over when my oncologist retired recently. I have never seen him, and to be honest, I can’t even remember his name. Hence the “Dr. ______”. But that information only served to further fuel the already-seeded worry. “But why? I wasn’t told there was anything wrong with the MRI or the bone scan. Why do I need the CT?”
The booking clerk agreed at this point to leave a note for my family doctor and her nurse to follow up with me about the “why” question the following week, and we peaceably ended the phone call.
That peace lasted exactly 10 seconds. In another 5 minutes, I was a bawling mess. What if they hadn’t told me about bad results? It had happened to me before! What if it was all happening again? What if my bone scan really hadn’t been negative for bony mets? What if the MRI really did show metastatic disease to the liver and the bone? What if…?
My poor husband tried to console me, but I was in no state to be reasoned with. Fortunately, I had to leave then to meet my mother at Walmart and help her do her monthly shopping. I left the house in tears, but at least I was somewhat distracted.
My husband said he had begun to pray for me at that point, and I know it was true because I had barely exited the driveway when God again placed Deut. 31:3-6 on my mind. Only this time, the words were personal: The LORD your God Himself will cross over ahead of me. He will destroy these nations before me, and I will take possession of their land…. And the LORD will do to them what He did to Breast Cancer in 2012, that He destroyed…. The LORD will deliver them to me…. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD my God goes with me; He will never leave me or forsake me. (Adapted from the NIV).
I realized then that I was being asked to put into practice what I had so smugly written just 30 minutes earlier. It took me a few minutes to give it all to God, but in the end, I praised Him that He would fight this battle. He would do to this cancer threat what He had done to cancer seven years ago. He would deliver me from this cancer threat. I had only one thing to do: I had to be strong and courageous. I was to not be afraid or terrified because God would never leave me or forsake me!
Peace washed over me then, and that peace remained, despite the fact that I had no idea why they wanted to do that CT; I didn’t know if I had been given accurate results from previous tests or not; I didn’t know if the CT would show metastatic disease or nothing at all! I knew one thing and one thing alone: My God would never leave me or forsake me to cancer…. Or to anything else for that matter!
What is the “nations” and “giants” that have been thrown your way today? Yesterday? Last week? Last month? It doesn’t matter when, or even what they are. God will do to them what He did to Sihon and Og. He will go before you. He will destroy these circumstances. Your part is simply this: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6 NIV)
P.S. In the end, the CT was a routine scan and the results came back negative for cancer. Instead of weeks of stress, I had God’s peace!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “Be Strong and Courageous” mini-series, please click here.)