Cancer, the Cross, and Easter

Chandra knew. Mothers are so intuitive. When her daughter came back from a year of travel abroad, the physical changes weren’t from strenuous hiking. Her daughter looked ill. Medical tests followed, and the prognosis was what she feared. Cancer.

In the quiet of the early morning when sleep became elusive, Chandra knew she’d lose her daughter. It was an acceptance she didn’t want to make.

Chandra’s single motherhood had tested her in many ways. There was never enough money, nor a faithful father for her daughter. In fact, faith in anything seemed pointless until now. Could God really be bigger than cancer?

Chandra wanted to know, because her heart couldn’t bear the loss. During the year that followed, which included surgery, chemo, radiation, waiting rooms, and test results, Chandra and her daughter weren’t alone.

A prayer request that Chandra had emailed to a church alerted a woman named Joanie, who had a relentless passion to pray. Tracking Chandra and her daughter down took a little time, but once Joanie did, they no longer went to any medical procedure alone. 

Joanie’s quiet prayers brought peace and her presence brought confidence instead of panic. Even when the cancer advanced, Joanie didn’t retreat. She said cancer was nailed to the cross of Christ. Cancer can’t take away one’s faith or love.

And it can never steal God’s spirit inside someone, or the promise of eternal life.

Joanie stayed by Chandra’s side as she buried her only child on a bleak Saturday morning the day before Easter. In the lonely weeks to follow, Chandra may have wondered why it all happened, but in the year of cancer, she and her daughter found the missing Father in their lives.

It had been a deadly battle, but knowing God robbed it of the victory.

Easter reminds us that because of Christ’s resurrection, this life is only the beginning not the end. The cancer that took Chandra’s only child stopped at the cross of Christ and went no further because Jesus was there and welcomed her Home.

Now Chandra celebrates Easter not in sadness, but in hope.

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. John 11:25

The little troubles we suffer now for a short time are making us ready for the great things God is going to give us forever. We do not look at the things that can be seen. We look at the things that cannot be seen. The things that can be seen will come to an end. But the things that cannot be seen will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

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