When God and Cancer Meet – Control

I’m telling you guys, I cant put this book down. Every page draws me in deeper, and reminds me of things I already know to be true, but have forgotten:

Think about it.
If God knows everything, the cancer diagnosis did not surprise Him.
If God sees everything, He saw the bad news coming.
If God has power over everything, He could have stopped it.

But He didn’t

There are so many hidden meanings in those words. He could have, but He didn’t. What that says to me is that He is in control, in every aspect of the universe, He is in control.

He is in control.
Errant cancer cells are not.
Toxic medicine is not.
White- Coated doctors are not.
Herbs and vitamins are not.
You are not.
I am not.

Wow. One of the toughest things that I have had to come to terms with is my lack of control through this cancer battle. I have had to put my life in my surgeons hands, my radiation oncologist hands and now my chemotherapy oncologist hands. I literally have no control, although I still fight valiantly to take it back because I think I can do it “better”, more “efficiently”.

But more importantly (and less easily) I have had to turn over all control to the person that never lost control, He never left His throne. My cancer didn’t take Him by surprise and He didn’t make a mistake. It is the sin of man that caused bad things to happen in this world. Not God. We (all of us, starting with adam and Eve) make the choice to trust Him completely or turn from Him completely.

There is no middle ground, no gray area.

We often act shocked when bad things happen to those we love. We picture God acting as surprised as we are by our current situation. But He is not.

My circumstances do not take God by surprise. Your circumstances do not take God by surprise. He is right where he has always been, on His throne.

All He requires of us is for us to depend on him, completely… without fear or trepidation. To rest in the palms of His hand, and to depend on him in our deepest darkest times, just like we praise Him in our glorious times.

God is Sovereign. His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts.

People often say that God doesn’t change, that He is the same “Yesterday, Today and Forever” (Hebrews 13:8). I wholeheartedly agree- His character doesn’t change. But His ways sometimes do.

Just flip through the bible and you’ll see that sometimes He intervenes with a miracle; sometimes He doesn’t.

God is the same.
The same God of love.
The same God of mercy.
The same God of justice.
The same God of holiness.
The same God who can do things as differently in our lives as He wants.

This next quote took the breath right out of my chest. I had to sit and think about a few minutes before it really sank in:

He cannot act contrary to His character, but He doesn’t have to act in accordance with our plans or in the same way in each of our lives.

Wow. He cannot act contrary to His character. He does not have to act in accordance with our plans.

So many times we demand things from God. We only need Him when something serious comes up, but during the good times we are content, putting Him up on the shelf, but keeping sight of Him “just in case”…

I don’t want to be one of those “Just in casers”. I want to trust Him in the good times and in the bad. I want to praise Him for my blessings along with my hurts and fears.

I owe Him that much. I love Him that much.

I trust Him that much.

I’ve told you all this so that trusting me,
you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace.
In this godless world you will
continue to experience difficulties.
But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.
John 16:33 (The Message)

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Comments

  1. Ah, yes, the “C” word and the battle to gain it! Hard lesson to learn, that control is really an illusion. Oonly ONE person has that and He’s DIVINE! But if I really trust Him, believe His Word then there is NO ONE better to be in charge…

    Thanks for the reminder, Heather. Prayers for you and your continue.

  2. This has truly helped me. I needed to hear that scripture from John 16:33. God has been dealing with me so much lately about control… or my lack thereof. I have heard Him say, in my spirit, time and time again, “Do you trust me?” Of course I trust God. The problem was that I trusted myself more. I had a false God in my life.

    Thank you for sharing your testimonies with us Heather. It helps more than you know.

  3. campstamper03 says:

    Control is the hardest part of the human nature to give to God. Sometimes that lesson is hard to learn. I know that is one of my own problems but God saw fit to help me learn that He is in charge when I developed cancer in 1993. There is nothing like being so sick that you really don’t care about anything to make you realize that someone else has to be in charge because you just can’t do it anymore. Even today, when I get too controlling, God has a way of bringing me to my knees when I least expect it. But he is such a loving father and usually is very gentle when he is trying to get you to see things his way, right?
    Have a blessed week, Heather.
    Hugs ‘N Prayers,
    Norma

  4. Once again, you’ve echoed the cries of my heart. My husband is fond of reminding me that whatever it is that has me in turmoil at the time “has not knocked God off of His throne”.

    Isn’t it awesome to know Who holds the future?

  5. As usual, Heather, always an inspiration. Thank you. Also, I love the new look of your blog. Take Care.

  6. While there are so, SO many things God does and allows that I don’t understand, I also love what I know about Him and His faithfulness… how God gives us just what we need when we need it… how He sent you that book through Lisa, how He had the author write it for all those who He would want to send it to. : ) No matter what, He is GOOD.

  7. Forgot to mention how great your new look is! Love the colors, header and quote…very nice, very.

  8. Such a good post, Heather! It sounds like you’re reading a very good book. Very sobering and full of truth. It IS easy when life is going smoothly to trust in God to do right, but when times get rough, it’s so easy to want to fix things on your own. I truly admire what the Lord’s worked/working in your life. You are a blessing!

  9. That is very beautiful, Heather. I know God loves you so much for all you write about Him and for your faithfulness. You witness to others about His constant love, grace, mercy, power and faithfulness – everything He is ~ the great I AM.

  10. So glad this book is blessing you!

  11. Deep truth, Heather. I remember coming face to face with similar thoughts when I was working myself through Beth Moore’s “Believing God” during the biggest crisis of my life. God could have stopped this — but He didn’t. Do I trust Him anyway?

    Bottom line for me is — YES! Whom have I in heaven but you? I don’t always understand or even like the way He works. But He is always good, always working for our good, always loving. This, I believe.

  12. Beautiful. What a prayer – to not be a “just in-caser.” I just had a conversation with a friend about how we, in our human nature, misconstrue what the Bible means by “He will work all things for good.” His “good” may or may not be our “good” – what a limited scope we have. Thanks for helping us to find some perspective.

  13. Wow! Great Post!

    Praying for you.

    Hugs!
    Kat

  14. I wrote this poem when my mom passed away 8 months ago…

    God is with us.

    He has a plan I cannot comprehend.
    He did not come with thunder and lightning as I hoped for.

    He performs miracles.
    He was not the healer I prayed for.

    He is faithful.
    He continually held her hand.

    He always loves us.
    He will never leave us.

    He did not do all that I asked for.
    He did all that He promised.

    God is with us.

  15. very true.

    this is also what we talked about in our bible study yesterday. adjusting our expectations of GOD because if we expect beyond HIS plan, we get frustrated not having what we want and we doubt HIM.

    there’s nothing else we could do but TRUST HIM, though at times, we could not understand.

    thanks for the great posts heather. you are an inspiration!

  16. Thank you so much for those reminders . . . :)

  17. Michelle M. says:

    Dear Heather,
    I don’t have cancer, but I do have pain. I struggle over control of things I can see and cannot change. Fear. Fear. Fear. or God. God. God. Those are my only choices. This morning this verse hits me right between the eyes.
    He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. Psalm 112:7
    Keep your eyes on Him. He who knows ALL.
    Love and prayers to you,
    Michelle
    p.s. I LOVE your new design :)

  18. I love your new look!

    Control. Many of us are raised to believe that we are in control. Yet, we are not. And even knowing that we are not in control, we try to control everything anyway!

    Thanks for the ispiration today, I hope you have a good one.

  19. These are lessons we ALL need to learn. Thank you so much for sharing. Heather, my dear, you are so, so wise. I know you’re human, with natural faults, frailties and fears, but you are WISE! God bless you!

  20. Mark George says:

    I promise…my message on Sunday was not from this book. But isn’t it pretty how we are on the same page on so many points. You must have copied my notes. 😉

    still in love with you
    markus

  21. Mark George says:

    pretty cool that is

  22. I haven’t read the book, but put it on my “to be read” list.

    I like the new theme :)

  23. Heather,

    THANK YOU for encouraging me today in the area of trust. God has used you to speak volumes into my life. I am praying for you!

    Bless you and yours,
    Tina

  24. This post truly spoke to me at a time when I really needed it. I am going to read it again many times throughout the day to soak it all in.

    It is amazing to me how God can speak to so many people in so many different ways using the same words. How these words apply to your cancer can apply to someone’s marriage, someone’s depression, another’s illness of a different nature…Thank you for sharing them.

    And I LOVE LOVE LOVE your new fall design!

  25. Hi Heather,
    You sound so good!!! You know we can’t change anything whether it’s cancer or like some of the things we are facing right now. But God can change “ALL” things and he will help you walk through it. The saying goes- What God takes you to he will bring you through. Have a blessed week.

  26. It really is a great book, isn’t it? I need to read it again. I’m going in for that delightful thing known as “exploratory surgery” at some point in the next two weeks or so. Don’t even have a date set, as I have to wait for a scan on Friday. I think a re-read is definitely in order!

    God is always in control. +PAX -e

  27. Hi Heather..first of all I totaly luv the new look on your blog and this color green is one of my favorites..well every shade of green I luv lol. Because it just reminds me of the color of life.new growth, new changes, just like you my sister. I’m catching up on reading ..I have been away for almost a week visiting my Mom and Family back home. so I’m off to read the rest. glad you’re enjoying your book, I can feel how much it is ministering to you just by reading your responses,, Hugz joyful

  28. I just want to say that I am lovin the new header. But on my computer, my new laptop that I just got three weeks ago and a couple other computer’s I have been on, I can’t get the rest of your posts. I can only get the first one (like this one) and the rest of your blog is gone. I also tried going through your archives and they are the same exact way. I have been on vactaion and because of your new template, I have missed the past week of your posts. :(

    I hope I don’t seem mean, or sound snotty because really I’m not! I love your blog and read it everyday except for now, I can’t. Could you maybe switch your template to somethign else so I can read your blog?

    Thank you and have a good day,
    TC

  29. Amen! We just studied about this in A Woman’s Heart: God’s Dwelling Place week 7.

    It was good stuff and for $4.99 you can download the lesson at http://www.lifeway.com/women. It will bless you so much Heather! I thought of you through it and prayed for you today.
    Love you much in Christ,
    Holly

  30. There is a lot of wisdom here. I do know God is sovereign, but I can still be fearful at times. I know God always does what is best and what brings Himself glory. We are all deserving of death and we all have more than we deserve even now….His mercy is hard to comprehend at times.

    We must just trust Him through it all.

    I am praying for you, sister in Christ.

  31. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1047064382297597701

    About 12yr old kid’s battle against cancer. He loved to sing but one day he woke up and his beautiful voice was gone. A few days later he … all » was diagnosed with cancer. He worried if he would ever be able to sing again. Between chemo-sessions he spent time at ZM’s Day Center composing, arranging and trying to keep his voice fit under professional musical guidance. This resulted in a song about his illness, his hopes and fears. Three days before his Bar Mitzvah he left the hospital after a week of intensive chemo therapy, and headed straight for the studio to record his song.

    At the day of his Bar Mitzvah he went to the Kotel to pray and give thanks. Later that night a few hundred guests joined him at ZM’s Day Center for a Bar Mitzvah celebration that none of the guests will ever forget. This video was played at the highlight of the night.

  32. Beautiful and truthful. D

  33. Thanks for your thoughts. Although we’ve never met, your words were an encouragement tonight. My cousin’s little girl was born 3 weeks ago with severe physical disabilities & your words are so true….God knew…He could have stopped it….but He didn’t. Thanks for the reminder that He really IS in control!

  34. There is such a difference in Believing in God and BELIEVING GOD! It sounds like you have found this to be very true.

    Because of Jesus, Bobbie

  35. HUGS to you. That’s all…just wish I could give you a hug and be a comfort. G-d knows what you think and feel and He honors the honest heart, I think. May you be BLESSED, and with every good thing in Yeshua/Jesus!

  36. Praying that the month of November brings you miracles!
    Love you friend,
    Holly

  37. A lot of us struggle with the control issue! This sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  38. Katherine says:

    Heather,

    I loved your post “When God Meets Cancer”. I would love to put it on my blog but would not do so without your permission.

    God Bless you,
    Katherine