“Look at this verse,” my daughter, Laura, said to me, holding up her teacher’s manual for vacation Bible school. “How am I supposed to teach that to third graders?”
She showed me Matthew 26:28 (KJV):
For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Testament wasn’t a problem, she said; it was remission that seemed too hard for young minds to grasp.
Remission is also difficult for people with cancer to grasp. In the biblical sense, “remission of sins” means “forgiveness of sins.” It means that through the blood of Christ, full payment has been made for our sins. That doesn’t mean we’ll never have to struggle with sin again. As long as we live here on earth, our new, pardoned selves will battle against our old, flesh-bound natures.
Likewise, the most that many of us with cancer can hope for is remission. Medically that means that through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation — whatever — our cancer will be knocked back so far that no trace of the disease can be detected.
But remission does not mean lifetime freedom from cancer. We will be fighting cancer for a very long time — if not physically, then emotionally. Every time we get a cold, our hip aches, we feel dizzy, and our fears whisper cancer, we’ll have to lift up arms against the enemy.
Physically, we might have to battle cancer again, too. Years ago, doctors assumed that if you lived five years without a recurrence, you were cured of cancer. That’s no longer true of many cancers. A friend, Mary, proved that when she had a recurrence twenty years after she was “cured” of breast cancer. Another’s melanoma metastasized to the brain fifteen years after a complete remission.
As my daughter says, “Cancer doesn’t obey any rules.”
Nonetheless, remission is a powerful incentive for people with cancer. It means that all we’ve endured to get rid of cancer has succeeded — at least for now. Maybe it’ll be gone forever; maybe not. Meantime, we live from day to day in God’s grace, rejoicing for the reprieve and thanking Him for this healing — and the next — until one day we stand before Christ, forever cured of cancer.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. — Psalm 28:7
God does not always take us out of problematic situations, but He gives us the peace we seek as we proceed prayerfully through each experience. ~ H. Norman Wright
There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow. ~ Orison Swett Marden
Excerpted with permission from What Cancer Cannot Do, copyright Thomas Nelson.
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Cancer doesn’t obey any rules. How wonderful then that we have a God we can fully trust no matter what our circumstances, no matter what the future may hold! Come chat with us on our blog. We want to hear from you about the Lord being our strength and our shield — even from cancer. ~ Faith.Full