When I was first diagnosed, I had several friends send me scriptures to read. I thought it was a nice gesture, but I didn’t need to read any scripture. I was fine. I’m a doctor for Christ sake! My analytical “doctor mind” was in charge. It was telling me that all the testing so far, showed a small cancer that was curable. I would be fine. I have always been careful not to mix medicine and religion. I thought that science cured the body and religion fixed the mind and soul. There was nothing wrong with my mind. I just needed to finish all my testing so I could get my treatment started.
Little did I know, that an emotional rollercoaster was about to begin. Over the next 2 months I would get results that would shake my belief. My small cancer had spread to a lymph node. My small cancer turned out to be the “most aggressive one”. My small cancer was inherited. What I once thought was a very easy, straightforward early stage breast cancer, had now turned into something much, much more complicated.
To make things worse, I started hearing stories of other people with cancers like mine who were not doing well. I had a bad visit with a new doctor, which left me scrambling to find a new one. I got doubts from my colleagues about my chosen treatment approach. All of this left me emotionally drained. My “doctor mind” was now quite anxious. It was time for me to hang up my doctor coat and be a patient. My mind was clearly part of my body and science couldn’t fix my runaway thoughts.
Thank God for friends who know what I need, even when I don’t. I went back and found those scriptures and read them. Here area few that have quickly become my favorites.
- Jeremiah 33:6 Nevertheless I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.
- Psalm 118:17 I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
- Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rods and your staff, they comfort me.
- Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God.
- Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.
- James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Now there are many more scriptures that are helpful, but these are the ones I meditate on daily. It doesn’t completely stop my runaway thoughts, but they keep me from dwelling on them. What scriptures have you found helpful on your cancer journey?
– The right scripture can keep you calm in the midst of a storm.