Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness MonthDuring this month our fellowship recognizes a very special group of people on Sunday, October 27th...our Cancer Survivors.  We continue our series on:

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

1.     Crisis Creates Confusion – A diagnosis can be a disturbing time.
2.     Caution Causes Carefulness – Don’t get ahead of God!
  1. Commitment Calls for Courage – Facing the challenges and fears of life in faith is courageous.
  2. Conquering May Not Mean Cure
Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Cancer survivors live with a reality that the cells in their body might react against them once more.  The word “cure” is seldom heard in the life of one who has experienced cancer.  While they may live in remission from the disease, the very fact they have had cancer greatly increases the chances for its return.  How do they handle that?  What can they teach us about the things that never seem to go away but trouble our lives?

"I learned long ago how to bend, twist, and evade the blows that threatened to break me.
So here I stand, complete, un-shattered. Of course, my shape is peculiar."

Vulnerability is a feeling of weakness in the face of a threat.  It is recognizing or feeling capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt.  Such a feeling is a part of the cancer survivor.  Yet, it is also a part of many other’s lives.  Being vulnerable comes with love.  It is a part of continuing relationships with people who have weaknesses their lives that cause them to lash out or live in anger.  Some live with diseases and impairments other than cancer that cause pain or difficulty on a daily basis.  
To “conquer” means to gain the victory; to overcome; to prevail; to subdue or overcome by mental or moral power; to surmount; as, to conquer difficulties, temptation, etc.  A “conqueror” is one who is in the process of “conquering.”  Such is the state of the one who lives in the grace and power which Paul spoke of in 2 Corinthians 12.

There are so many who are in the midst of a war that has many battles.  They may fight daily the attacks on their body, soul or spirit.  There is a constant awareness of danger or threat.  And yet, the attitude they carry is not one who is on the verge of defeat, but one who is claiming a victory.  What can they learn from these who have suffered and won yet know they may have to fight again?
Paul said the lesson for him was, for when I am weak, then I am strongDependency is not weakness when it is exercised as faith in a powerful, loving God. 

There are many battles to be fought in this world, and maybe you don’t have cancer, but you are fighting a different battle.  Call on Christ to carry you through to victory, and claim what He has already won. 

Scripture to Claim:
but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

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