Traveling along the rocky road of a cancer patient brings incredible highs and devastating lows. It is inevitable that along the way you meet people who happen to be going in the same direction. Relationships are developed that make the travel a little lighter. Then, one by one, they are called to their eternal home. Their wandering is complete. It is a great joy for them and a blow to us who cherished their friendship.
There are turns along this highway, a scan, a doctor’s appointment that doesn’t go quite the way it should, and darkness takes over. People ask how I am able to overcome and even put a smile on my face when things are so difficult. They say that my wife and I are such great examples. But they don’t see the times that I am in tears and want to give up.
Moses felt that way. He was the reluctant champion of the children of Israel as he exclaimed to Pharaoh, “Let my people go!” Pharaoh responded by making life more difficult for the Hebrew slaves. Moses went before God and asked why he would call him to make life more difficult for those who were already oppressed. Eventually, God set the people free only to see them commit the sin of unbelief and, for forty years they wandered aimlessly through the desert. During that time, Moses would hear the murmuring and complaining of the people over and over and over again. It was too much for him. He broke down.
“I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me.”Numbers 11:14, ESV
There comes a time when we all reach a tipping point. We have tried to maintain the balance. Ruin on one side, glory on the other; but then we tip and fall. We can’t handle that burden and, we are at our wits end; exactly where God wants us to be. The time must come when we realize we can not hold things together on our own. We need strength above what we can muster, to find it, we must give up. Jesus said,
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”Matthew 16:25, ESV
This hope is what puts a smile on my face after the initial shock of a new diagnosis; or an existing painful medical issue that must be dealt with by either new medication or surgery. When I have a Moses’ Meltdown, I must remember where my strength comes from.
“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”Isaiah 40:29–31, ESV
Waiting for God is a euphemism for a life devoted to him. Physical strength doesn’t matter. Weakness, sickness, disease? They do not matter. When we devote ourselves to God, he devotes himself to us and we find the strength we have been looking for.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:28–30, ESV
Do you have a huge burden to carry? Jesus says, “Come.” Are you suffering the painful loss of a loved one and you are overwhelmed? Jesus says, “Come.” Did a doctor tell you that you have terminal Stage4 cancer? Jesus says, “Come.” If we come to him, we will find rest for our souls. Oh, how we need rest. Do you feel his gentle heart as he speaks peace to you now?
God loves you even though you are suffering. He has his reasons for allowing you to go through the pain. Perhaps it is because he wants to show his strength in your weakness. Fall on him if you can not stand. He will lift you up.