Lately I have been so saddened with news that 2 of my friends have been diagnosed with cancer. One has breast cancer and will undergo surgery today. The other has a rapid spreading cancer in her leg that will lead to amputation of her right leg.
For weeks, even months, I have been kept up to date on their status. From the moment I read the words "cutting off her leg" I have been struck by the words found in Matthew 5:29-30
"And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee;...and if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off and cast it from thee. "
How often do we read the scriptures and it is so easy to glance over the meaning of them. It is what I love about the Word of God. It never ceases to teach us. I don't care how many times we read it, we will be ministered to by it.
These verses are ones that I know by heart, but I have never in my life taken them to heart. It is only now that the Lord is showing me the severity of these words. Would any of us pluck our eye out if it caused us to lust time and time again? Would we chop off our hand if it meant that we would no longer be able to steal, to touch what is unclean, to reach for things that are unprofitable for us? I think we like to see these verses more as a metaphor rather than something we would ever consider doing.
My friend is in this place in her life. She is not in sin...that is not why she has to have her leg amputated. But it is because this leg is causing the rapid spread of disease that if not such a drastic step is taken, the cancer will take her life. I laid down the other day just thinking of this, thinking of what must be going through her mind, what will it be like when she awakes that very first time without her leg. O Lord have mercy upon her! She has had to make this tough decision in her life and it is one that I just don't know I could make.
So I ask myself, to what extreme am I willing to go for the sake of a life fully devoted to my Lord. Am I willing to do what is necessary that sin does not race through my very bones, causing even that which is clean to eventually become unclean? Am I willing to make the sacrifices God asks me to make, to make the tough decisions that need to be made? Am I willing to trust Him with all that I have, getting rid of the things, the thoughts, the dreams, that stand in the way of being all that He wants me to be. Am I willing to cast off, to pluck out, to cut off?
My heart goes out to those I know who have cancer. I found myself asking why it has to be those who have a good marriage. There are plenty of people out there who are miserable in life...even Christians. Why is it the Lord allows those who love being together to suffer in such ways. I am reminded that His thoughts are not my thoughts, His ways are not my ways. He has a plan in each life that we cannot see. A plan that goes far beyond what any of us can fathom.
May His peace that passes all understanding bring comfort and strength to these ladies and to their husbands and children. May the church rise up and come to the aid of them as needed and not grow weary in well doing as they serve them in their time of need. May the Lord use these two women's lives to bring us all to a place of surrender-surrender to Him!
Please keep them in your prayers!