Isaiah 43:2 – When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (NIV)
It was a cloudy and rainy day. The "folk music" satellite station had just finished playing the song, "Love Hurts", and my mind recalled a telephone call from my friend a few years before.
I remember the way my friend said, "Hi, Rose." The tone in her voice awakened my suspicious mind, and immediately, I asked what was wrong. My heart was pounding as I waited for an answer.
"I have been diagnosed with colon cancer," she said slowly, and I heard her softly crying. The words felt like a knife piercing my gut, and the silence that followed seemed like an eternity. Hundreds of questions raced through my mind — the "what ifs" that start to plague the minds of the victims and those surrounding them. On the surface, there seems to be no rhyme or reason for such devastating news.
What does one say and do at moments like these? I asked God to give me words of wisdom, but there were no words, only silence. Finally, I expressed my disbelief, and then, I asked her what would happen next. My friend told me that the next step was to go for a scan to see where the cancer was, and if it had spread.
It is at moments like these that we can:
- be a listening ear for our friend.
- pray for their healing and for comfort and strength.
- express our trust that God is still in control, no matter what the situation.
- trust His promise that He will walk with us, even though it hurts.
Matthew 28:20b – Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (NASB)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give us the words that will enable us to comfort and offer strength and healing to our friends in grief and suffering. Direct the surgeons and doctors to remove the cancers that have invaded the bodies of our loved ones. Grant the scientists and researchers knowledge as they seek to find a cure for cancer and all the other deadly diseases. Amen.
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