It is easy to talk about cancer.
Among the many blessings of our multiple fights with cancer I have realized that one of them is that talking about it is easy. I don’t personally know of anyone who has dealt with quite as many tumors and bouts of chemotherapy as my little family but everyone I know is dealing with some sort of serious issue. Most of these things are shared in private if at all. There are so many tears, so many struggles and so much pain. Society is full of heartbreak. I share our cancer stories in the hope that the lessons we learn may somehow be applied the life stories of others.
Cancer trials do not bring immunity from other trials. We have our share of troubles – I just don’t write about them (but I do learn from them). What family alive today can escape the cunning snares and traps set for our children, our spouses, our families, our friends and ourselves? Our own choices and the choices/actions of others can be devastating to our future. Misery is at our fingertips, ripe for the taking.
Just as I hope others can learn from our cancer story, I also need to draw upon those lessons from time to time. Recently I became aware of a trial facing a loved one. My mind chose to worry rather than sleep and during those sleepless nights I thought of some of the things that I had learned before such as: take time to grieve, slow down and do not demand too much of myself, gratitude is the key – find the countless blessings for which I am grateful, pray like I mean it and then pray again… Even with practice these responses take a great deal of will power.
As I was working through all of this I ran across a talk which pointed out again and again that Jesus Christ commanded us to BE OF GOOD CHEER! He says this point blank to his followers again and again. My favorite is in John 16:33, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
I read this over and again. In my heart I thought, “Be happy! Be joyful!” This was actually very helpful. One morning I woke up with the word, Courage, on my mind. That day I mentioned to my sister that I was working on being of good cheer. Lori told me that the Greek translation is more than being happy. Here is what I learned:
“Be of good cheer” is tharseo which means “fear not”, “have courage”, “have confidence”, “have no fear,” and “make bold.” This is the verb form of the Greek noun that means “boldness” and “courage.”
This is the translation that I found. The link she sent me included “comfort” and I love that also.
BE OF GOOD CHEER!
BE OF GOOD COMFORT!
BE OF GOOD COURAGE!
What else or who else but Jesus Christ can offer such commands with a guarantee of results? Absolutely no thing and no one. The trial may not go away as we would wish, but we can endure it if we are wrapped in his arms of mercy. As we turn to Him we can begin to have hope, we can begin to navigate the myriad of help options around us, we can learn to trust Him and begin to get some sleep again.
Life can be bright in the midst of the difficult. As a recipient of the love of my Savior I share my witness that this love is available for all of us. We need to seek and ask. He is waiting.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20