Serious Illness: An Unwelcome Intruder






Serious illness is an unwelcome intruder in any person’s life, but for those of us who are organized, well-prepared planners, it can be especially unpleasant.

I’ve always felt you can ward off a lot of problems in life but anticipating them ahead of time. You know, take an umbrella with you in case it rains. Always have restaurant coupons with you in the car in case there’s a last-minute decision to go out to eat. Have an extra wrapped gift at Christmas in case someone gives you one that you weren’t expecting! You get the idea.

Then BAM! cancer hit me at the age of 36 from out of nowhere. I always had been so healthy I hadn’t even had a cold in four years. Cancer didn’t “run” in my family, as I was the first to get such a diagnosis. In fact, I was so young the American Cancer Society didn’t even recommend I get screened for colon cancer for another 14 years! I certainly hadn’t anticipated this and it was too late to get prepared now.

And then something else hit me.

This diagnosis did not take God by surprise. He saw it coming and although I wish He had stopped it from touching me, He was not unprepared to battle it. In fact He would equip me with everything I needed to battle this disease physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

The same is true for you or your loved one’s diagnosis. God is not surprised. He is not unprepared. He will equip you with whatever you need to face this unwelcome intruder.

“And everyone will know that the Lord does not need weapons to rescue his people. It is his battle, not ours.” 1 Samuel 17:47

Here is a prayer you might wish to pray today (based on Ephesians 6:10-17):

Dear Lord, I come to you acknowledging that I don’t like the fact this diagnosis has taken me by surprise. It makes me feel anxious and out of control because I didn’t see it coming and I feel woefully unprepared. And yet I also acknowledge that I believe You are not surprised or anxious and You are very much in control. Help me to put on Your armor each day: the belt of Your truth, the shield of Your righteousness, the shoes of Your peace, the helmet of Your salvation and the sword of Your Spirit. Then I know I will be ready to battle this unwelcome intruder. And most of all I will not be afraid because it really is Your battle and I will trust You to fight through me so that I will not be defeated by this unseen enemy. Thank You, Holy Spirit, that I don’t need to be in control to battle this—I just need to be controlled by You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

(This blog is adapted from a devotional I had published in the book Praying through Cancer:Set Your Heart Free from Fear, copyright 2006 Susan Sorensen and Laura Geist, W Publishing Co., a division of Thomas Nelson Inc.)

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