Letter to a Friend Dealing with Cancer


Ahh your soul is where the “rubber meets the road.” I have been down this road as well. We are no longer strangers, we have entered “the brotherhood of the suffering and downtrodden.” Escaping through books, instead of prayer. Oh my, how comfortably familiar. Yes, exactly what I did, as well.

Does suffering serve any purpose, or are we just pawns that God manipulates for his own entertainment?

It’s healthy to question these things. You are indeed experiencing a “Job” experience in your life, because of the Cancer. Mine is heart disease.

But unlike Job’s comforter’s, I’ll do no scolding.

You understand well there is NO assurance of healing. In fact, healing has not even been a part of my prayers for you. Now that might seem odd, but it isn’t. My prayers for you and your family is that God would give you grace, sufficient for the day’s needs. Because you are enduring this in the present. Not the past, not the future. But the here and now.

We’ ve one of two choices: Either God’s grace is sufficient, or it’s not. There’s no middle road here.

The important thing to remember, and this was a hard lesson for me to understand: Whatever happens YOU are NOT responsible for the outcome. Your only responsibility is to be obedient to what God has called you to do. And that’s never without consequences.

Obedience at times, means we suffer. Our emotions are in a blender. We stop it for awhile to sample the mix, and it churns around and around again, on a never ending merry-go-round, that seems to never stop. Our minds race away. If we dwell on it too long, madness sets in.

Don’t pray. That’s really NOT your job. It’s the work of friends. Right now, you are bathed daily in the prayers of those who reach out, and call you a friend. That’s our job, not yours.

Learn this principle:

2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,

4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.

7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. (2 Cor 1:2-7 NIV)

Life is not joy. It isn’t wonderful. It’s often times painful.

As Larry O. Richard said: This may be one of the most important values of suffering. If life on earth were a constant joy, why would we fix our hope fully on the grace to be brought to us at Jesus’ return? If life on earth were without difficulty, how would we remain sensitive to our need for God? If life on earth were without trials or persecution how would we be forced to choose between commitment to Christ, and comfort or ease?

As Peter said, suffering does have value. It reveals the genuineness of our faith, and brings praise to the Lord.” (”The 365 Day Devotional Commentary”, Larry O. Richards, Victor Publications, 1992, pg 1109)

I Peter is nourishment for the soul. You will find understanding and compassion there. When you have a few moments, read it through.

We made it through Bible School on prayer. Whatever happens next, you have no control.

Where is Robb?

14 But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.”

15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!

16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. (Isa 49:14-16)

You are in the palm of God’s hand. He doesn’t wonder, “Gosh where’s Robb?” He looks at His hand, and says “Ahh perfect. That’s just where you’re supposed to be.”

It doesn’t feel like it, but my prayer is that you would KNOW and EXPERIENCE God’s love and peace through this ordeal. You are NOT responsible for how this turns out. That’s God’s responsibility.

A great weight was lifted from my shoulders, as I came to realise this.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

Peace always,