During my fight against cancer I remember well my struggles with fear and pain and uncertainty every day, crying many tears to God. I can see myself sitting in the bedroom we occupied in my son and daughter-in-law’s home while I went through a year and a half of cancer treatments. Though my husband was able to be with me a few months of that time, most of that year and a half he was back in West Virginia working, while I was in California. Every day I turned to the Bible and poured out my heart to God in prayer as I read His Word. I once wrote in my blog:
The scriptures, God’s words to us, sustain me daily. They are our life. They bring the only light to this dark path.
I meant it then and I believe and practice it today. My routine of reading the scriptures, which I continued through cancer treatment, stood me in good stead by getting me back into the Word of God. It nurtured me daily, calling me back to the foundation of my life, giving me not only encouragement and hope, but perspective. The scriptures acted like a compass guiding me through the wind and waves of the storm in which I found myself. Even when I couldn’t see farther than my own hand, so to speak, the compass of God’s Word enabled me to continue to move in the right direction, in hope and trust in the Lord. It gave me that which was beyond me, beyond my limited vision and understanding.
In the midst of trials we can lose perspective. Pain and suffering tend to make us look inward and our world, as a result, contracts. It becomes very small, since it consists of and revolves around only “me”. Me, myself and I can be very poor company. We need that which pulls us up and out beyond ourselves because in suffering we are in danger of sinking into the morass of self-pity. Self-pity is nothing to trifle with; it is destructive and from the devil, that old deceiver. It must be dealt with immediately and ruthlessly.