Malankara World

Today with Jesus

When Cancer Strikes

by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada

Today's Bible Verse

"The sufferings we have now are nothing compared to the great glory that will be shown to us." (Romans 8:18)

Discussion

An ordinary family with saintly courage and hope faces two cancer deaths!

Sufferings and death are part of the earthly body that is intended only on this earth and is part of this life's journey. But the unforeseen glory of eternity is revealed to human beings by death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and God.

"Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back." (Corinthians 15:23)

Human efforts, philosophy or any logical advice when one is in intense pain or sufferings, acts only as a partial pain killer but the Spirit of God can have a complete and effective effect over it. The children of God should co-operate and co-work with the Spirit of God to ease the pain and sufferings of the family and the patients by prayer, your presence if the patients and family welcome it, logical support as the family requests or see the situation by standing in their shoes and meet their needs financially, physically, and spiritually. In such situations, being an inner circle member in the family of the patients is the most important thing we can do as a human being.

God never leaves any patients and families alone to fend their own pains. His love and presence hovers over the patients and family always without losing hope and faith.

"I'm sad and tired. Make me strong as you have promised" (Psalm 119:28).

"I will never leave you; I will never forget you" (Hebrews 13:5).

Mary, an ordinary woman with immense faith in Jesus, has faced two cancer deaths in her family. I am encouraged by her voice of hope and faith when I had a talk with her over the telephone just two days after the death of her youngest daughter- in- law, Sally, due to cancer, leaving behind two young school aged children. Six years earlier, Mary’s husband had died due to stomach cancer in his middle age leaving Mary with her two sons.

Sally, the youngest daughter- in-law, beautiful, ever smiling and supporting darling of the house and the village, was also attacked by cancer. She was under different types of treatment and pain killers for more than 5 years, but in vain. Sally’s youngest daughter is in grade 10 and writing the annual examination. As desired, Sally spent her last few days with her family in her home. Till her last breath, she was praying, interacting with the family members and visitors with her unfading smile.

Sally's last prayer and request to Jesus was, "Jesus if you wish, please extend my life 5 more days till my daughter’s last examination is over." She left this earth to a world where there is no pain and sorrows , her eternal abode with Jesus, on Saturday, 20th March 2011 at 1.30 AM with her family around her. Mary was telling everyone that Jesus really heard Sally’s prayer.

"God is our protection and our strength" (Psalm 46:1). Each church, village and family should have the mechanism and means to overcome the disease of cancer without losing faith and hope in life here and beyond.

Prayer

Jesus, we pray for the soul of Sally and the departed souls of all cancer patients. We pray for all the cancer patients, research centers, families and their medical care givers. Let your spirit of healing work internally and externally in the homes and hospitals of cancer patients. All we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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