February 1, 1998 Issue
by Harvey Hammonds

    Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:13

    Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

    Paul's strength to do and hear all things come from Christ. There was nothing for which Paul did not feel himself adequate, in the strength that Christ imparts.  Cancer is a terrible disease. It is almost a sure killer, but has been put to rest by some.  In the United States, cause of death by disease is as follows and in this order:

1. Heart Disease
2. Cancer
3. Stroke
4. Alzheimer's Disease

    This disease, cancer, has always been a mystery to me. Even the young are not exempt. They must die too.  The Medical Society has statistics showing lung cancer as number one killer by cancer.  If all of those who have died of cancer could offer advice to those that are on this side of the grave; I believe they would say: "Young people"

1. Do not use tobacco
2. Alcohol
3. Drugs

    Set your goals on bigger and better things.

1. You can be a Christian.
2. You can make the Church better.
3. You can make the world a better place to live.

    As I grow older, getting closer to the "threescore years and ten," spoken of by David in Psalms 90:10. It seems that more of my friends and loved ones are dying of cancer. I know a lot of people, young and old with cancer, that are fighting for their lives as I write this paper. This dreaded disease has taken its toll.

    Cancer is a six-letter word that begins with "C". It is one of the most terrifying words in the English language. Many lives have been shattered by this word. It has caused untold suffering, agony and pain.

    It is cancer. Who among us has not known of someone close to us who has sat in a doctor's office anxiously awaiting test results only to hear the doctor say, "I'm sorry, but you have cancer"? Then the fight begins. There is much waiting, anxious moments, and sleepless nights. Prayers and rivers of tears. There are often radiation and chemotherapy treatments with all the miserable side effects. The full head of hair is soon gone. Facial hair begins to vanish. Sores appear. Rashes and itching come on and the patient is aggravated until screaming is heard. Nausea sets in. Morphine shots are given. The morphine pump is connected so that you may adjust how much you get and when you get it. The morphine shots eventually cause hallucination and disorientation. There is often the emotional roller coaster of thinking that the treatments are doing their intended work only to be crushed by the reappearance of the tumor. This type of back and forth scenario takes its mental toll on the patient and loved ones. The most devastating type of this wild ride is for a patient to be given a clean bill of health and to feel good for a while only to be overtaken again by the six-letter word that begins with the letter "C" ŚCancer. The treatments start again and life is turned upside down for both patient and family. Some times the patient will get better after much suffering or the patient will lose to cancer after much suffering. The necessity of suffering is a constant in the malignant cancer equation. The patient suffers and the loved ones do too!

    There is a six letter word that begins with "C." It is one of the most comforting words in the English language. Many shattered lives have been mended back together by this word. Suffering, agony and pain are not great enough to overcome the one these six letters point toŚChrist. Cancer is no match for Christ. Even if cancer physically destroys the body of a follower of Jesus, it can not do any thing to destroy the soul of that follower. Jesus said, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul..." (Matt 10:28). Though cancer was not under consideration in the context of the aforementioned pas sage, the principle certainly applies. Cancer cannot conquer our souls! Cancer can take our physical lives away, but it cannot rob us of the eternal life which has been promised unto us (I John 2:25). It is true that Cancer can stop us from realizing earthly dreams, but it cannot stop us from realizing the dream of going to heaven to be with God. Cancer can put our bodies of clay into the tomb, hut it cannot keep them there.

    Jesus said, "I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die" (John 11:25, 26). Because Christ conquered the tomb and rose from the dead to die no more, so shall we who are in him (I Cor. 15; I Cor 6:14; Rom 6:9; Rev 1:18; I Thess 4:13-18).

    The moment cancer wins the physical battle the Christian win the spiritual battle. Simply put, CANCER DOESN'T WIN. THE CHRISTIAN DOES! Those who have died of cancer who are in Christ shall never suffer again. No more chemo. No more morphine or shots for pain. No more awful side effects. No more long nights. No more tears. Just the beauty and bliss of being with Christ forevermore. The battle is done and the victory is won. (Rev 14:13).

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