Cancer can be difficult to talk about. Yet there are many reasons it is helpful to read and hear the testimonies of Christians who have faced cancer: 1. It prepares us for the reality that we too will face various kinds of suffering 2. It is encouraging to see God’s grace strengthening and helping his people to trust and live for him despite great difficulties. 3. It helps us see the practical hope the gospel of Jesus brings to the present and the future. 4. It helps us consider how we can pray for, help and care for those we know who will face cancer.
Below are some resources and reflections from a variety of Christians – some are facing cancer, others whose cancer is now in remission, and still others who are now with Jesus. If you know of other resources, feel free to let me know in the comments:Online Resources: Don’t_waste_your_cancer – pdf , Online article (John Piper and David Powlison write, having both been diagnosed with prostate cancer). The Gospel and the oncology waiting room (Mike Pohlman – ‘Through cancer clinics, God brings the significance of the present and the weight of glory to bear on us in ways unlike anything else. Few things, by God’s grace, capture the mind and the heart like an oncology waiting room. Beyond the darkness (Dave McDonald honestly shares some of the physical, emotional and spiritual realities of facing incurable cancer). Interview with Matt-Chandler (‘I was caught completely off guard when Dr. Barnett told me that it didn’t look good and that we needed to do surgery immediately… The Holy Spirit was quick to remind me of great passages on God’s sovereignty and goodness in difficulty… I wasn’t being punished with brain cancer …rather God was at work. He was doing something, and I could be sure that He loved me and in the end I would have increased joy and He would be glorified.’ The Terminal (RC Sproul Jr considers how he should pray as his wife battles Leukemia – ‘Cancer cannot determine when you go home. Only your Father can.’ ) Lessons from the cancer ward (brief reflections from a wife and mother fighting cancer) Grief, suffering and hope (Video clips: Zac Smith shares some of the good things he learned in his battle with cancer, and his widow shares some of the hope she has in her grief) The Watters’ story (short video of a family considering God’s providence as their son battled with cancer) Related posts: Trusting God in suffering (Some resources and reflections on suffering) Songs that bring comfort and hope in suffering (Songs about trusting God in hardship)
Books: My God is true! Lessons learned along cancer’s dark road (Paul Wolfe tells his story of diagnosis, treatment and survival, and points to the glory and grace of God along the way. Above all he speaks of the faithfulness of God whose promises will certainly prove true. ) “Wednesdays were pretty normal” writes Michael Kelley, looking for a bright spot amidst the chemotherapy routine brought on by his two-year-old son Joshua’s cancer diagnosis. His personal account of that fight to survive sparks a larger discussion of how Christians must learn to walk in the light of Christ’s promises despite the dark shadows of earthly pain. Indeed, it’s pain that sometimes opens the door to a deeper experience with Jesus, an authentic relationship that holds steady even when life loses the comfort of normalcy. On My Way To Heaven – Facing Death with Christ Mark Ashton describes his own experience of imminent death from inoperable cancer. Real confidence, he explains, is found in the resurrection of Jesus Christ an event which, even though it happened 2,000 years ago, has profound implications for us today. DVDs: Life Matters: A Conversation about cancer Alistair Begg interviews Mike Fox, who shares how God has used him through his battle with Cancer.