One of my favorite authors on Christianity is John Piper. Most people either love his writings or hate them. For me, they have always challenged my thinking and opened my mind up to new ideas, and I like that! Of his books that I have read, "Desiring God" is my favorite.
Today a good friend called and told me that John Piper has written about cancer and recommended that I read "Don't Waste Your Cancer." Several years ago Piper was diagnosed with prostate cancer and he wrote the article the night before he had surgery.
So, of course, I went straight to the internet and found it. He lists ten ways to make sure you don't wast your cancer. It was a good reminder of what's important and how God is working even in difficult circumstances. One of the things he says is that "you will waste your cancer if you believe it is a curse and not a gift." This is something that God showed me early in this journey, but it was good to be reminded today.
With Piper's thoughts in my head I sat down to read my Bible, journal, and pray. Without really realizing it, my writing took on a life of it's own and suddenly became a "Thank You" note to God:
Thank you for cancer.
Thank you for what you are doing in my life, and in my family's life, and in my church.
Thank you for the beauty I've seen - in the human body, in people, in your church, and in you.
Thank you for the lessons I am learning.
Thank you for the relationship with You that continues to grow.
Thank you for the new relationships and renewed relationships I am developing with family and friends.
Thank you for the compassion for others who are hurting that you have given me.
Thank you for the release of the need to judge people that I have experienced.
Thank you for the strength you are forming in me.
Thank you for an even deeper and stronger relationship with Mark.
Thank you for the freedom and peace that I feel.
Thank you for the freedom from "doing".
Thank you for a life out of control and that's OK.
Thank you for time to spend with you - to think, to question, to pray, to meditate.
Thank you for a new understanding that I never had before.
Thank you for the glimpses of your goodness.
Thank you for the life I've found in your words.
Thank you for your presence.
Thank you for the deep knowing - the unshakeable knowledge of the truth of You.
Thank you. Cancer is a gift.
"So, my very dear friends, don't get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures." James 1:16-18
"So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us?" Romans 8:31-32