When I told my 13-year-old granddaughter I had cancer, she whispered, “Are you afraid?” I said yes. Had to be honest. But yes, I am not looking forward to possible fatigue, nausea, weight loss, mouth sores, burns from radiation. Who wants to suffer? But I am not afraid of dying.
I am afraid of leaving my loved ones. Who will show them God? Who will love them through life? Who will teach them the Bible? Who will take care of Mr. Bill? The babies? The international students? Who will be steady in their lives? Okay, so I’m over-exaggerating my importance and our pastor told us not to inflate the truth. It’s the same as lying. But I am afraid for them, so I must trust them into God’s care. He loves them more than I do. However, I am not afraid of dying.
I am afraid of not honoring God in all I do and say. I so want to show that God is with me, helping me and keeping me strong. I want to lift up the banner and show the world that He is with me through all the coming these weeks of treatments. And He is. But what if I fail to exemplify that? What if I fall and cry and lose faith? Does that mean there is no God? No. God does not depend on my weak self to be real. He is and always will be real. And He will be honored whether or not I stand.
I am afraid for my weak body, because here on earth, we live in a broken world. Our bodies can succumb to illness and disease, like cancer. All we can do is the best we can do. And if life overtakes this body, and I do go to meet the Savior, I know He will help me through. His love has buoyed me through life thus far, through the many rough times, so why do I doubt He will help me now? He will. He is here with me. And if death overtakes me? Ah. On the other side, Jesus is waiting. The One who loves me very much.
So, yes I am afraid, but no, I am not afraid. And that brings a certain amount of peace.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear. ( I John 4:18.) We can only know perfect love, however, through Jesus – and holding on to Him.