Monday, October 14, 2013

What can we learn from the journeys and battles of those who have traveled this road?

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.  Psalm 46:1-3

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Pink is everywhere, even on the feet of the NFL football players and pro golfers.  This month our fellowship recognizes a very special group of people on Sunday, October 27th...our Cancer Survivors.  While some may feel that a daily devotional page is not a good place to focus on such a topic, we feel there are many wonderful and valuable lessons to learn from the journeys of these who have fought such battles.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Texas.  Almost 100,000 Texans will be diagnosed with cancer this year and over 35,000 deaths will occur due to cancer.  While these numbers demonstrate the great danger of cancer, they do not truly show its impact.  Cancer is a disease like no other in its demands on its victim, family and society.  Any family which has been affected knows the tremendous toll it takes when it strikes.

As a compassionate and caring church, North Side has stepped into the lives of many to share their struggles and celebrate their victories.  Prayers have been offered and arms have been extended in love upon the news that someone has cancer.  We have grieved with those whose battles are now over and testified of the grace and the provision of God.

What can we learn from the journeys and battles of those who have traveled this road?

1.    Crisis Creates Confusion
The emotional impact of cancer diagnosis, symptoms, treatment, and related issues can be severe.  Shock, fear, uncertainty, and general numbness are immediate reactions.  As in any crisis moment, the diagnosis of cancer creates a time of confusion.

It is during these times that our thoughts run rampant.  There is seemingly no way to slow down our minds to focus on actions.  Feelings are in control and we stumble from one point to another trying to find some place to stop and regroup.

Such a state is not unique to cancer diagnosis.  In our lives, there are other events that shake our foundations in the same manner.  The sudden loss of a job, serious illness of a child, a disastrous financial has a way of bringing crisis and confusion.  What should be our response?

2.    Caution Causes Carefulness
Running when we are confused and lost is not only futile, it is dangerous.  So it is when we are in any crisis.  The first thing we must do is stop and get our bearings; understanding where we are and then assessing where we are going from here is mandatory.  Those who have walked the path ahead with a diagnosis of cancer will tell us to be cautious about what we think and do at this time.  Don’t get ahead of God!

·     The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The most important steps we make in a time of crisis are our first steps.  Which way should they go?  Who is it that we should turn to?  The Psalmist turns our attention in the way that it should go when we are caught up in crisis.  It is what we all claim today.

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD.  (Psalms 27:13-14)

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