Since diagnosis, I’ve been making a list—reasons to thank God for allowing me to have this trial. This post has been in the works for 10 weeks. And by human reason, it sounds insane to say, “Thank you for cancer.” But go with me for a moment. This Thanksgiving I really am thanking the Lord. I didn’t say I would wish for cancer, I like cancer, or I’m glad to have it. I said I’m thankful for it. Here’s why:
1. Because being thankful for cancer is a command to obey, not an emotion to experience.
2. Because it has reminded me what a blessed past I have by God’s grace.
3. Because it has drawn my family relationships closer than they’ve ever been before.
4. Because it makes realms of faith that were previously only theory, now a reality.
5. Because it gives me a chance to live what I’ve taught for the last 20 years.
6. Because it proves to me what is real about faith and good about God, all over again.
7. Because it identifies me with a Saviour I love very much.
8. Because it allows me to encourage others in trials in a new way.
9. Because it unveils God’s presence in my life at a new depth and reality.
10. Because it shines a very bright and clear spotlight on what really matters in life—when you find out you have cancer, every petty thing in life appears only to be even more exceedingly petty.
11. Because it increases gratitude for every small thing in life.
12. Because it brings with it a fresh and abundant dose of God’s strengthening grace.
13. Because God really does embrace His children in the storm, and now I am experiencing that.
14. Because it has helped me love people more and understand their trials better.
15. Because it has increased my desire to be used of God and fully surrendered to Him for the rest of my life.
16. Because it is a Divine appointment of God which places me on very specific mission with Him.
17. Because it is a sacred trust from God, and I’m humbled that He entrusted me with it.
18. Because it has made me instantly and more deeply grateful for all the people I love and serve God with.
19. Because it has reminded me how overwhelmingly blessed I am just to be saved.
20. Because it makes me anticipate God’s purpose and intent through it—God must be up to something in my life, my family’s life, and my ministry. That’s exciting!
21. Because it has reminded me how many loving, caring, praying friends and family members God has given to me.
22. Because it has been used of God to bring people to salvation.
23. Because it has opened doors for me to witness and minister to people I would have never met.
24. Because it gives me a new platform from which to proclaim God’s truth.
25. Because it has increased and deepened my private walk with God and time in His presence.
26. Because it has awakened a sensitivity to God’s hand in varying ways in my life.
27. Because it has allowed God to reveal Himself and His goodness to me at a new level.
28. Because I can point to ways that God was going before me and preparing me for this trial.
29. Because it gives me a great sense of rest in God’s sovereignty in my life.
30. Because it purges impure motives and removes everything but a desire to please and honor God.
31. Because I can tell God is using it to purge me in ways I don’t even fully understand yet.
32. Because it has brought spiritual growth in my life.
33. Because it has allowed me a whole new experience in which to apply God’s truth and claim His promises.
34. Because it has kindled within me a deeper passion to live for and serve God.
35. Because it gives me a reason to rejoice in any other circumstance in life.
36. Because it renews my resolve to stay faithful to Christ and run my race with patience.
37. Because it strengthens my desire to truly be a godly man, if I don’t accomplish anything else in life.
38. Because it reminds me to cherish every laugh and the little joys of daily life.
39. Because it has afforded me more solitude in the presence of God, and I love being with Him.
40. Because it has led me into the undeniable embrace of my Heavenly Father, a very real experience.
And for a laugh, here are some less mature reasons to be thankful for cancer:
—I finally get to see what having no hair will be like—I’ve been looking forward to this.
—Close friends keep asking if they can do anything for me.
—It makes people treat you really kindly.
—It’s a great “card” to play in lots of situations—”Be nice to me, I have cancer…”
Wherever this post finds you, thank you for stopping by! I hope you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving!
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)