- Isaiah 61:1-3 [NIV]
Cancer…Who doesn’t know cancer? It affects anyone. Anywhere. An awful disease that claimed my loving father’s life back in December 2007. Diagnosed with colon cancer in 2005, it slowly spread and progressed toward devastation. It hurt him. It hurt us. His children. And many others who knew and loved my father.
Grimacing in pain at times, he kept silent. He wanted to show he was strong. He showed he was at peace at the same time. Marked by quiet rests as he laid on his bed, unable to get up anymore. For a little over 2 weeks. As my brothers and I constantly surrounded him. Buying more time to tell him how much we loved him. Feeling a hole growing inside our hearts. The size of our father.
I treasured his hugs and kisses the more. Knowing how much strength it took him to wrap his arm around me. The way he told me he loved me with every precious breath. The way he kissed me on my forehead or cheeks, lifting his weary body just to be able to do so. Same with my grown-up brothers, nestled in his arms, as we each took turn. One softly caressing the wrinkled forehead, as I applied lotion on his weary feet that used to sail many oceans when he was younger.
Laughter filled his house as many teardrops fell. Laughter that echoed in that tiny room filled with his family and friends. They were mostly tears of happiness. As my father loved to joke around. People came in crying. But they left smiling or laughing. Neighbors were often wondering why we all looked happy. Despite the imminent arrival of “Death” at my father’s house.
He said, “Let them wonder. Because for the first time, they would remember a person who passed away with his family and friends laughing and celebrating, instead of mourning.”
Cancer could be prevented. Even cured if diagnosed early. But the etiology has been a mystery.
Except…I have known about a Healer Who loves to heal us all from sins’ cancer. This spiritual cancer had spread so much since a forbidden fruit was eaten at the garden of Eden. But God had an immediate plan. Way before. He sent His miraculous healing. His love. By the death of His own Son. Yes! That was “love” crucified on that wooden cross. Because of His shed blood, He conquered cancer. And other illnesses, known or not known in this world.
We are healed that is…if the cancer-stricken spirit believes what He did and accepts His gift of love and forgiveness.
Love soothes pain. Love mends a broken heart. Love brings along with it: joy, peace and hope. Joy and peace…The ability to celebrate despite the circumstances surrounding a sick and weary soul. And hope that death is not the end of life. It’s only the beginning of an eternal journey. Promised by His love. Jesus’ unconditional love.
Love that my father had received after losing my mother years before him. No wonder! He could smile. He could laugh. He had comfort. He was strong. Despite knowing death would come any minute to end his earthly journey. And as he breathed his last, I knew then that he won his battle. Cancer would never defeat a saved soul. My father was right. I was joyful for his departure, knowing that his destination was what we all longed for. A place of rest. A place where there would be no more pain. No more tears. No more suffering. A place where a mansion was prepared for those who loved the Healer.
“Death has been swallowed up in victory
Where O Death is your victory?
Where O Death is your sting?
~ 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 [NIV]
Something beautiful halted that ugliness. The beauty of love that came from the One and only true Savior. Cancer…After all…was defeated. Cured. Nailed on the cross thousands of years ago…
“Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.”
~ Isaiah 53:4,5 [NIV]
"Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven..."
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.
Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.
All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.
When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.
The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.
When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: Life Application Bible]:
We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14
Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].
Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.
Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.
Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].