This post is based on an actual conversation with one dear friend, but I know many of you can relate. I hope it encourages you to keep praying, keep calling, keep holding up their arms.
If you are a survivor or are presently in the fight, I know full well that I just visit cancer and you have lived with it. I am speaking only as a spectator on this journey.
My dear friend,
You are so very brave. I am in awe of your strength and determination. You keep showing up. I don’t know if I could.
You were feeling good today; you and chemo are “on a break”. On this break you’ve remembered how great “good” feels and you are relishing every minute. The break has been glorious, a chance to catch your breath and regain strength.
But you are counting the days until your furlough ends. In your words, you “can’t wish chemo away” even though you would like to.
I told you I would gladly take one round on your behalf, if only that were possible.
Easy words for me to speak, knowing it won’t happen. My words were sincere, but you can’t take them to the bank. They are as counterfeit as a three-dollar bill; worthless. It’s you who has a port surgically implanted in your chest wall. And yet you are gracious because you know I “mean well’. In hindsight, I’m embarrassed that I said them.
You said the chemo is a necessary evil. I’ve watched it ravage your body, turning your cells on each other. It took your hair and turned your skin to ash and yet your smile is radiant, because you hold fast to HOPE – it is your lifeline.
You are about to return to war. We will send cards and care packages, but you are the one on the front line.
I pray, frustrated over my impotence to help and God brought an Old Testament story to mind.
Moses was leading God’s people, a grumbling band of nomads, into the promised land. It was one gripe after another with them. I’m thirsty. I’m hungry. It was like a road trip with me.
The Amalekites were a nasty bunch who had a reputation for not fighting fair. About the time Moses had had it with the Israelites, they arrived in Rephidim, where the Amalekites attacked.
Moses was old and most likely tired from all of the grumbling, so he sent Joshua into battle.
He promised Joshua that he would stand on the top of the hill, with the staff of God in his hands as a show of support.
Joshua headed to battle and Moses went up the hill, accompanied by Aaron and Hur.
What happened next is the part of the story that the sweet Holy Spirit reminded me of as I prayed over you today.
Joshua fared well as long as Moses held up his hands. However, when he tired, his arms fell and the Amalekites gained.
Enter Aaron and Hur. They stood on either side of Moses, holding his arms up. They gave him a place to sit; they held his arms up until the enemy was defeated.
When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him
and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up–one on one side,
one on the other–so that his hands remained steady until sunset.
So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
Exodus 17:12-13 NIV
You are a fighter like Joshua; and like Moses, you know that salvation and hope are in God alone.
The visual is so big and beautiful, my friend. All of us who love you are trusting and believing God for your healing have come alongside you.
In the days to come, I pray that you will remember the multitude around you, lifting your arms and your battle to Jesus. I love you!
Because he bends down to listen I will pray as long as I have breath,
This is such a hard topic; I write with great care but I don’t know your story. Please use the comment section to share the ways that others have come alongside you in your battle, whether cancer or some other struggle.