Cancer may make you feel weaker than you have ever felt. But you can also discover a power and strength unlike anything you have ever experienced or imagined. Jesus promises, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9).
This mysterious fusion of weakness and power originated in Jesus. He stepped down from heaven, making himself nothing (Philippians 2:6-8). He was born in a cattle stall not a castle. Jesus was not the military messiah most expected. Rather, he lived as a humble, itinerate preacher, teaching God’s kingdom and healing the sick. He opposed the powerful and died a prisoner. He was “despised and rejected among men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with weakness…” (Isaiah 53:2-4, Jubilee Bible).
But what appears as weakness is divine, unmatched strength. Jesus chose to leave heaven. He chose to lay down his life. No one takes it from him. (John 10:18). He is the Lamb of God who takes away the world’s sins (John 1:29). "He took upon himself the punishment we deserved so we could have peace with God.... and by his wounds we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus died so we could live. He is the quintessential hero and our God. He is clothed in weakness, and reigns in unmatched power.
Jesus promised, “I haveauthority to lay (my life) down and authority to take it up again (John 10:18). In the book of Revelation, we see the risen Christ, slaughtered and standing tall upon the throne (Revelation 5:6). He has seven horns symbolizing perfect power, seven eyes representing his omnipresence and omniscience. He is God Almighty, Son, and Holy Spirit. Lord of all creation.
Yet Jesus remains slaughtered. He is mighty and merciful. He pours out his spirit upon us so he can always be with us and in us, empowering, leading, and comforting. Jesus is present with us when we stand strong on the mountain top and when we are weighed down and weak in the valley. Often this is where best recognize his presence and power in us.
If we allow Jesus to join us in our cancer battle, or any struggle, we can expect to experience his mysterious intertwining of strength and weakness. You may hear his voice inside assuring you. “Scanxiety” may be replaced with “scanticipation” as you ponder all the Almighty can do. You may break out in praise during your MRI. You may find strength to do the long avoided, face cancer’s new challenges head on, and believe in your heart: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).
Pray: Lord, it blows my mind to consider how you took upon yourself the full force of human weakness and made it your greatest strength. You became weak so I could be strong. Lord, have mercy! When I can only see my weakness in my cancer journey, help me find my greatest strength-you. Amen.
Your Turn: Everlasting God is one of my all-time favorite Christian songs. It’s based on Isaiah 40:31, “Strength will rise as we wait upon the lord” (Isaiah 40:31). Listen and worship!