I read my last post and see the irony that I was worried about too much good news — that I might lose my perspective and forget that we live in a fallen world. It’s ironic now because this past week has been very hard. I’ve been weak and achy. Some days I didn’t get dressed. And the nausea. Oh the nausea. It got so bad last week I was glad I didn’t know any marijuana dealers. Because if the drug is as good at taking away nausea as I have heard, I would have been tempted.
On Thursday when I had just about reached the end of myself, I found myself feeling like I might have reached the end of God. Why aren’t you helping me, I cried out with tears. And because I knew I was getting into dangerous territory, I called my friend Kelly and asked her to speak truth to me. To remind me that God is bigger than cancer, and that even nausea can be turned for good in His redemptive plan. She talked me off the ledge, we laughed, I had courage again and remembered that, indeed, God is good all the time.
When I was through the danger zone — both physically and spiritually — and I was sitting in a worship service singing with confidence about God’s faithfulness and provision, I thought again of the metaphor of this struggle with cancer as a chapter in the story of my life, of which I am not the author but simply the narrator.
I imagined a reader, picking up this unfinished book of my life and getting to this chapter. I even imagined her landing on the pages describing this past week and staying up into the wee hours of the morning eager to see what will happen. It feels that uncertain to me at times, as though the reader might want to peak into the last pages of the book. Not to ruin the ending, but just to see if my name is there. To see if I make it.
Then I realized I sometimes wonder the same thing myself. Am I going to make it through this chapter of my life? Not just physically, though I continue to wonder that, too. But spiritually. Am I going to remain faithful to Jesus even as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death?
I am trusting God that his words in Philippians 1:6 are true even when I struggle. “There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” (The Message) And though I can’t get a sneak peak of the end of the story, I can trust God’s faithfulness to carry me even when my faith is weak.