by Sharon Robertson, Lt. Colonel –
It was the testimony we’d been waiting, praying, hoping, and trusting to hear. The battle had been long and hard, but at that moment the radiance that lit her face obliterated all trace of the effects of the deadly disease.
“The doctor entered the room,” she said, “the report in his hand, a huge smile on his face. He said, ‘Cancer free!’” Waves of applause filled the sanctuary in a spontaneous celebration of joy and thanksgiving. The long months of intense, terrifying struggle were past, and healing was the bright, shining goal before her. We all felt her moment of triumph, and gratitude to God for his healing presence in her life.
No one had ever doubted the presence of God in her life. She has borne her illness with an uncommon grace. In the darkest moments she had encouraged her family and friends, exhibiting a quality of courage and faith that inspired courage and faith in others. And now she stood smiling, surrounded by loving brothers and sisters in Christ, praising God and cancer free.
There was a time in the distant past when cancer seemed a rarity. Today it is common, its malignant cells concealed in the body in a macabre game of hide-and-seek, their only purpose the destruction of the body in which they have found shelter. The forms of the disease are legion, the battle against it intense. Innumerable resources—material resources, human resources, spiritual resources—are being directed toward the goals of cure and eradication. Ordinary people are going to extraordinary measures to help defeat the disease, and progress is being made. There is new hope, and no thought of giving up the fight. The goal—a world, cancer free!
The battle to eradicate cancer is heroic. It is being fought in the laboratory, the classroom, in the lives of its victims, the medical centers and in the streets. It is the heart’s focus for countless lives affected by the disease. God bless them and grant them victory in their crusade for life cancer free.
While cancer exists as a terrible reality, it also exists as a metaphor for the malignancy that eats at the heart and mind of humanity. God has involved himself in the day-to-day struggle against the disease that is cancer. He sees to it that, for the Christian, the battle is always victorious, even when it may lead to physical death. But God has also involved himself in the battle against that cancer of the spirit that is even more deadly, the cancer of sin and its malignant designs.
The term malignancy infers hatred, intent, a desire to do evil, to bring about harm. The cancer of sin is malignancy in its worst form. The focus on bringing about the cure for and eradication of cancer as a disease is worthy, and we laud the efforts of those engaged in that battle. The focus on eradicating the cancer of the spirit, the cancer we know as sin, is even more critical, with eternal effect. The battle against sin, the battle for souls, is bitter, hard fought. Sometimes we wonder if it can ever be won…but that is the cancer talking.
And that, my friends, is another battle that God is going to win! We look forward to the moment when we stand in the congregation of the redeemed, and God, his face aglow, declares his creation…