Thanksgiving Day is just around the bend. There will be plenty of food, football, and family, as always. But giving thanks? With cancer in the house, that might be a long shot.
For most of us, it can be hard to imagine both having cancer and being thankful. You have a terminal disease. You may not be alive for the next Turkey Day. Your body has been changed. You’re in pain. Can anyone really expect you to be thankful?
Last week I attended a Cancer Companions cancer support group meeting with a dozen or so cancer survivors, patients, and caregivers.
I had been asked to join their zoom meeting to share with them about my book and How Cancer Cured Me and some of my insights. After my remarks, I asked about the ways God had used their cancer for good.
What followed was a symphony of gratitude, praise, and thanksgiving. One by one, the participants told me about the good things God had used cancer to accomplish in their lives.
I’m thankful to be alive. I got to hold my grandson! I praise God for how I’ve grown in my faith. I know God is with me. Cancer has made me more empathetic. My relationship with God is more real than it ever was or could have been. I’m so grateful for my doctors and for effective treatments. I praise God for the clinical trial that worked for me. I praise God for comforting me so I can comfort others.
After these and many more words of thanksgiving to God, the last person shared. She, a cancer patient, referred to her cancer experience as “the gift of cancer.”
If you had heard the struggles she and all the group members had been through – surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, mastectomies, colostomy bags, swelling loss of feeling, fatigue, and more, you may well have thought she was ludicrous or delusional! That must be “chemo brain”!
But every cancer patient and survivor in the group affirmed her assessment: Cancer is a gift. The disease had given them all so many reasons to be thankful.
The Bible invites us to “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV).
Please read that verse again. Does it say, “some circumstances,” or “pleasant” ones, or “all circumstances except cancer”? Of course not. God’s desire is for us to give thanks in all circumstances.
Without a doubt, it’s a challenge to thank God in and certainly for cancer. Yet, “in Christ Jesus,” it is possible!
Lord, thank you for using cancer to make me more thankful. With your help, I can see all the good things you have done for me and given to me, including all those who love and support me. Thank you, God!
To learn more about How Cancer Cured Me and can cure you, please check out my book and my blog and sign up for my mailing list:
My blog: www.davidgira.com/blog
My mailing list: https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/uVLbpLrTo learn more about How Cancer Cured Me and can cure you, please check out my book and my blog and sign up for my mailing list: