Still Thankful After All These Years

Still Thankful After All These Years
I was 25 years old when I was given the diagnosis of cancer. I actually met my oncologist on my 26th birthday! It’s not the way that I expected to celebrate that particular birthday, but with much gratefulness to God, I have been able to celebrate many more of them since that fateful day. And now that I am in my 50’s and experiencing middle age and silver highlights coming into my hair, when I look into the mirror I don’t see age. I see life that is still evolving! Into what, I’m not sure exactly. I just know that I am still here and that I am embracing the destiny that I’ve been given.

When I wake up in the mornings, I have pain in my legs, neck and lower back. I can hardly wait until the coffee is brewed so that I can take my analgesic and muscle relaxer to ease the discomfort. I let Bo my Shih-Tzu go outside for a few minutes, and then we both settle back into bed for a little while, and that’s when I read Scripture verses and pray. Some days I don’t feel like doing it, I get lazy and put it off.

On other days I push myself to do it because I know it strengthens my mind, makes me more positive, and I am spiritually strengthened for any test that may come my way. Sometimes late at night when I’m tired, I will read bite-size scriptures like the Psalms. They are usually short, but they speak of hardship ending in triumph. Reading when I’m tired makes me sleepy, so these scriptures are perfect to ease the mind just before drifting off to sleep!

To me, King David is the greatest public relations executive God has ever had. Over and over, he tells of the goodness of God, and of His mercy, and never ceases to give God praise for His forgiving grace. His military battles were never ending, his enemies were many, and his greatest sorrows were within his own family. But no matter how bad things got, he would eventually come to himself and remember that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had always kept His promises to him. God Himself reminds us to remember the sure mercies of David when we are in the heat of our battles. He will come through for us, just like he did for him.

There are so many promises in the Word of God that increase our faith, encourage us when our hearts are breaking, empathize with us when we are weak, and love us when we are unlovable. Besides my dictionary, there is not a book I read more than this one. I refer back to it over and again. My days would not be complete without its healing messages and loving words. The same scriptures I held onto in the two experiences of cancer, still get me through tough days now. They have never lost their power to transform this very human, imperfect person into someone who is able to keep going.

I hope you will find solace in the words of King David today. Stand with him in faith, when he says:

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and surely you will be fed. Delight yourself also in the Lord; and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37: 3-4

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