This is the second post in my blog series for those dealing with cancer or other illness. To read the first post, click here.
As I reflect on all that gives me hope, I realize that I have to first ponder all that I am thankful for. During this season of Thanksgiving, remembering even the small instances of gratitude give us renewed hope for our future. We can know that the same God who has provided us with many blessings will be by our side during the difficult times.
Dealing with cancer or any disease can seem quite overwhelming and our energy supply is zapped. We do not know when we will feel like doing the things we used to do. However, even with surgeries, radiation or chemo treatments, there can be more good days than bad ones. We try to identify a pattern in our treatment cycle so we can prepare for the tougher days and live life as fully as we can on those good days.
We soon learn that hope is not merely wishful thinking. That logic has no power to help us get through the challenges of disease. Our hope has to be substantive and grounded in something bigger than ourselves. I often find encouragement when I read through the Psalms. We are reminded in Psalms 3:20 “to wait in hope for the Lord, He is our help and shield.”
Hope gives us a glimpse of what our future can hold. To get there, we must keep looking ahead to a power greater than ourselves. We must prepare as best we can and be realistic with our energy and resources.
Just days after my diagnosis, I was running errands and as I stopped at a red light, I remember feeling kind of numb. It was then that I noticed the most magnificent sunbeam ahead. The many rays of light instantly reminded me of the hope that can only come from God. This hope strengthens us. It gives us the fortitude to continue the fight and helps us to look beyond ourselves.
Today I am still inspired by a beautiful sunrise or the brilliant sun rays streaming through the trees on morning runs. As a gentle breeze begins to stir, I imagine that I can feel the presence of God. I am also encouraged by the morning songs of the birds in my backyard. As you begin to look beyond your disease, take notice of all in your surroundings which bring you hope.
Ultimately our hope is that our disease will be cured and there will be few side effects. However, in the short term, we are trusting God to get us through each day and we hold on to that promise that He will never leave us.
This takes much patience and constant prayer. Allow others to pray for you and feel the strength and comfort this allows. We are encouraged in Romans 12:12 to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.” Especially in those really tough days, seek the joy that comes, not from our circumstances, but by being in God’s presence. And remember to always hope!