I seem so small in the scope of things; I almost seem insignificant.
Does God really care about me?
Even as a Christian, cancer can play mind games with you and not only mind games but spiritual mind games, too.
As far as mind games go, we know we need to “think positive.” It seems everybody keeps telling us we need to think positive. “You are strong! You can beat this!” And, “You’ll get past this, just think positive.” For me those were two heavy expectations to live up to especially when I felt like my world just came crashing in and the reality of my mortality was smack dab in my face. I thought, that is easy for you to say, walk in my shoes right now! Of course, everybody means well.
But there are spiritual mind games, too. As a Christian my first thought after hearing I had cancer was, God is in control of this; my cancer is not random or happenstance, there is a purpose and I have to trust God in this. I knew this as truth and I accepted this truth as factual. God is in control, I have to trust Him in this. But regardless of this truth, there still was a tug-of-war at times in my mind and soul.
My chemotherapy was done as an inpatient treatment. I was admitted into the hospital for alternating 5 and 7 day treatment cycles. I moved into the hospital for my stay bringing with me my personal belongings to help me through my long days and nights.
My most helpful and comforting possession was my Bible. I had time on my hands, I was in a crisis and I needed to read and reread that God was ever before me and in His written word was my hope and assurance that this unexpected season in my life called cancer was not in vain.
Early on in one of my treatment cycles, I was reading through Job. (Don’t we all?) Having cancer and going through chemo is like walking through a dense fog. I 100% trusted my medical team and their care and protocol for me and I trusted God but this one morning I wondered, did God really care about me?
I vividly remember being in my hospital room. I had a room that looked out into the foothills that surrounded the hospital. There was a hiking path that meandered along the base and hikers, runners and bicyclers took advantage exercising outdoors. I found a kind of comfort and solace watching the activity outside.
I was sitting on my bed, I was finishing reading Job. That particular day I was feeling insignificant and small. I didn’t like having cancer (who does?), I shouldn’t have cancer, didn’t I take good care of myself? Not one cycle of chemotherapy was like the last so I never knew what was in store for me as far as side effects and recovery. I wasn’t wallowing in “this isn’t fair” but I was wondering in the scope of all things throughout the world, does God notice me? Did He about for me? After all, there are far more people in greater need than me.
My room was quiet except for the hum of staff voices in the hallway. The lighting was subdued, I preferred the natural light from the large window rather than the bright “hospital” lights of my room. It was early summer and the air conditioning kept my room a reasonable temperature. Outside was radiant and bright. My Bible remained opened, my eyes returned to a page I already read but this time I stopped at, “Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders.” (37:14)
“Listen to this, Cyndi; stop and consider God’s wonders.”
“God is exalted in his power. Who is a teacher like him? Who has prescribed his ways for him, or said to him, ‘You have done wrong’? Remember to extol his work, which men have praised in song. All mankind has seen it: men gaze on it from afar. How great is God – beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out.” (36:22-26)
I was drawn to “Remember to extol his work . . . All mankind has seen it; men gaze on it from afar.” God’s work, His creative handiwork and all that it encompasses. Let me think about His work, creation. Isn’t it marvelous? Can anything compare to it? Just look out the window and see His creative handiwork.
I stopped and looked out my window; it really was beautiful outside. If I looked to the east, I had a small slice of a view of the great Wasatch mountain range. Now those mountains were grand and magnificent! The last of the winter snow remained on the highest peeks. These mountains truly testified to God’s creation.
The Wasatch mountains. Huntsman Cancer Hospital is tucked into the far left corner, on the foothills overlooking Salt Lake City, Utah.
I recalled the verse from Matthew 10:29 that God knows of the sparrows and not one will fall to the ground apart from His will. But better than that, He knows the numbers of my hair! And then He says to not be afraid for I am worth more than many sparrows! And then I remembered in Psalms 139:16, God ordained, decreed, planned every day of my life before one of them came to be!
Then an epiphany dawned on me . . . if God, the Creator, worked His great splendor in creating such majestic mountains to see and be in awe of, then He certainly knows me and cares about me even as large and complex as this world of our is! God does really care about me, the one with cancer, stuck in this hospital room with an uncertain future.
I was overwhelmed – and I was comforted and I rested secure in His care about me.
People are not insignificant to God. You are not insignificant to God. He sees you as you read these words, He knows where you sit or where you lie down. He knows your fear, He knows your uncertainty and He knows your trust in Him no matter how large or small. God knows you and He cares about you.
Glacier National Park, Montana, USA