“Every struggle in your life has shaped you into the person you are today. So be thankful for the hard times, they can only make you stronger.” – Daily Inspirational Quotes
“...in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God...” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18a
“You have cause for great joy in this, though it may have been necessary for you to be troubled for a little time, being tested in all sorts of ways.” – 1 Peter 1:6
A beloved fictional character in Peanuts once said to an unhappy Charlie Brown:
“Listen, you can’t let yourself get into a mood like this. I know you miss Snoopy. I miss him, too. But if you let yourself get into a mood, no one will want to be around you. No one likes a moody person, Chuck. Take it from me: I learned a long time ago that if you go around in a mood, feeling sorry for yourself, you do it alone. And I mean alone, Chuck.”
I felt a bit like Charlie Brown when his lovable canine disappeared; particularly when writing my latest blog update (KNOCKED DOWN, BUT NOT OUT OF THE FIGHT). Instead of losing “man’s best friend,” however, I began to bemoan another loss of a part of that healthy man that I once knew before cancer. Thankfully (pun intended), after finally accepting yet another ‘badge of honor’ in this fight against cancer and realizing that I’m truly a shadow of my former physical self, the deepest parts of my soul were lifted out of an temporal state of discouragement, especially when I began praising and thanking God for allowing cancer into my life.
My reasons for being persistently thankful for my cancer are:
Reason #1: I’m grateful for cancer in my life because it has fortified my marriage with Teresa. We’ve grown to love each other more intimately; a deeper love and desire for one’s welfare, care and growth. Moreover, we expressively convey our love through not only words, but also in our actions, thoughts, and service for one another.
Reason #2: I am thankful for cancer, coupled with the perennial sense of my mortality, because both have impelled me to acquire more wisdom and character; to master oneself in every act and thought as if I am going to die today; to be more obedient and humbler to God's will and for His saving grace.
Reason #3: Finally, I'm grateful for cancer in my life because it has triggered a deeper intimacy for God; a renewed wanting in my heart and soul for Him, and a desire for more faith in my walk. Since the beginning of my fight against cancer, I’ve undeniably felt God’s grace and peace, especially in those times when I have needed Him the most.
It is without question that cancer has given me more in life than it has taken away, evidenced in a strengthened marriage, an earnest drive to become a better man, and a wanting for a deeper kinship with the Creator.
So, when I hear the words, “I am so sorry for your situation,” my new response will be:
“Why? For I’m a grateful recipient of His merciful touch, for He is refining my mind, heart and soul on His purifying anvil. This I know to be true, because an easy and enabling life cannot produce good character, wisdom, and the love for others.
Peace to all