I recently received an e mail from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) entitled Health, Hope and Inspiration. These periodic e mails contain 30 minute interviews with Rev. Percy McCray, spiritual coordinator for CTCA. The latest interview entitled “Can God Use Cancer?” grabbed my attention. Rev. McCray’s immediate answer to the question was a resounding “yes”. During the interview, he cited a resource from CTCA entitled Cancer Ministry Scriptures, a compilation of Biblical references focused on leadership and inspiration, comfort, hope, God’s compassion, healing and strength, peace, and encouragement. This resource is similar to the section of this Godandprostate website entitled “Spiritual Medicines” to which I refer often. I was inspired to compile the latter after being told first-hand of God’s healing of a woman I knew from a brain tumor. Her son had compiled a short list of scripture verses which his mother cited and prayed daily in addition to taking her prescribed medicines. Her healing was confirmed by her surgeon at Johns Hopkins in Maryland.
During the interview with Rev. McCray, he focused on Philippians 1:12 wherein the apostle Paul cites a list of negative circumstances such as imprisonments, beatings, shipwrecks etc. but which all eventually had positive outcomes, namely that God used these events to further the propagation of His divine plan. Paul writes “now I want you to know brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel.” The things that happened to the apostle Paul and to ourselves can serve as a furtherance of God’s plan for us both personally and impersonally to those with whom we come into contact. Thus, God can use a cancer diagnosis for positive results. When one receives the initial diagnosis of cancer, there is often an emotional shock. But soon, we can realize that God did not give us the cancer but He has empowered us to accomplish something positive with this diagnosis. Cancer can open doors to share what God has done in our lives and the abundant life we have in Him through faith in Jesus. In John 10:10, Jesus proclaims that He comes to give us an abundant life. But a translation of the word “abundant” means an ability to rise above our circumstances. Had we never received a cancer diagnosis, we may have never considered it a ministry. God can show us elements of ourselves or ministry to others thru cancer. We are led to seriously consider the main bedrock purposes of our life. God can show us our strengths and especially our weaknesses thus enabling us to see that He Himself is the source of all our needs. We can see ourselves as little children who, when hurt, run to a loving parent for comfort. But now we see that God is that loving Father when we run to Him in faith and need. God’s promises in Scripture become alive as never before.
So what are the changes in my life and attitudes toward myself and others around me that have occurred as a result of a cancer diagnosis? Do we now focus more on actions that may have eternal results or consequences? These are questions we should prayerfully consider. For me personally, this website would never had been written had God cured me of prostate cancer during my initial surgery in 1995. But His care continues to permeate my life as it can any of us who have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ as described in the following link. In conclusion, may we be able to say with certainty that “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).