“You have cancer.”
These words strike fear in the heart and consume enormous amounts of emotional energy, draining the reservoir without providing a replenishing intake. Within a few hours or days of hearing the pronouncement, physical exhaustion emerges with a weariness that has roots deep inside the person. Loretta and I know this to be true, as we have lived it. Death came calling at our door.
“No Other Name” is the story of our personal journey in a battle against a formidable adversary — cancer. We share our personal struggles and reveal emotional upheavals that came as a result of harmful advice given to us by well-intentioned people, as you will see later in the story. Our children share what it was like for them to have their mother’s body invaded by cancer and how they dealt with thoughts of her impending death.
We share things that were helpful as well as those that hindered us all during this time in the life of our family. We have tried to be vulnerable and open, yet remain positive and encouraging about the medically verified healing that Loretta experienced after her breast cancer had metastasized to her ribs. A few years later, our world was rocked a second time when a different type of cancer was found in her hip joint. How does this fit into our understanding of God and the Bible?
As pastors, we desire to help people understand that God’s presence is with us in sickness and chaos. We also want to demonstrate how one’s faith and trust can grow through the intimacy of a personal relationship with Christ, coupled with a saturation of biblical promises. Much that has passed as the Christian ministry of healing is heartless, mindless, and hurtful in its exploitation of people when they are most vulnerable. Healing scriptures are often wrapped in religious jargon rich in emotion but poor in theology. This warps the scriptural intent, offers a false hope to the unsuspecting and vulnerable, and often results in the destruction of lives and the plundering of the spiritual and material well-being of good people.
The opposite of this is a frozen theology of healing that overreacts to the popular excesses, and confines healing only to the days of the twelve apostles. Wrong thinking about healing has become an albatross around the neck of the believer and robs people of experiencing healing through the ministry of the local church. We have experiential, as well as biblical, proof that God heals today, and we attempt to strike a balance between these two extremes. Our goal is to avoid formulas and simply share the practical insights that helped sustain us and move us forward in our faith in God’s promises for healing, while heeding medical procedures and advice. Our conviction is that healing is a ministry of the local church.
Just change how you perceive your fear and change how you react to it. There is no escaping fear, but you can always alter your vision and mentality. The Apostle John, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and find God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us…There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives our fear, because fear has to do with punishment…” (1John 4:16-18). Real love is a Person, God Almighty, not a feeling. When we know our Creator, whom we can address as “Father”, this incredible supernatural love for us is realized. This love will drive out fear as we grow in the knowledge of biblical truth about God as our Father.
A person cannot just push their fears to the back of their head. Do not allow your fears to bring you down because they becoming the testing ground to learn what real love is all about, which drives out fear.
Overcoming a fear is a process and you need to please trust in God during the process. It is very rare to be able to overcome a fear in a day. It takes time, but gradually, you will get there. When you do, you will realize there was nothing even really there to fear in the first place. Read the epistle of 1 John in the bible.
“You have cancer.”