I hate cancer. But, I love the human spirit, the power of faith, family, friends, the will to fight like never before, the resiliancy of the mind, body, and soul, the stories to come, the lives you will touch, the opportunities to show love to others, and the power of a great God in giving you peace.
This year the 3-Day was different for me. It seems in the last year I have come to know more and more people being diagnosed with cancer – some winning and some not. This disease seems to know no boundaries, it seems no one is safe. With my dear friend Karrie just being diagnosed with Breast Cancer the Arizona 3-Day hit just a little too close to home.
Along the trail we passed elementary school children taking a break from their school day on Friday to cheer on the walkers. I thought about children who lose their innocence due to a diagnosis of their own, or of a parent, or a sibling, or a schoolmate.
We walked through neighborhoods decked out with signs supporting their neighbor in the Breast Cancer fight. I thought about how important it is to have a support group, what it means to check in on someone, to have the opportunity to pray for them, to cry with them, to laugh with them, to take a meal over, to send a card, to be a good neighbor. After all we’re called to that in all circumstances.
We met a couple – BOTH of their daughters diagnosed and lost to Breast Cancer, one just this year. I thought about parents losing children – I’ve witnessed 2 of those in my lifetime at the loss of dear friends. Death is cruel. But, good comes from it – people choose to make a difference in the lives of others because of what life has dealt them. So that maybe someone else doesn’t have to endure the same suffering.
It doesn’t seem fair. Though the thought that was constant to me is that no matter the situation, I am thankful for God who gives peace in all situations. I was just studying this “peace” with my Small Group….
When Jesus arose from the grave and greeted his disciples, he said “Peace be with you!”. When Thomas doubted it was him, he again said “Peace be with you!”. With an excalmation point – he was intentional. Over and over Jesus offers this greeting. What is this peace? This world offers what it thinks to be peace for it’s people, though all of it is temporary, fleeting, and disappointing because it will not sustain over time. It is false joy, false hope, false love. “But the world cannot offer false peace. It can offer peaceful settings and rituals to conjure up peaceful thoughts … but not true soul contentedness. The peace that flows despite circumstances can only be found through Jesus being with us. In other words Jesus is saying “You can walk through anything, My sweet follower, if you realize that I am peace and I am with you.”” **
I don’t consider it chance to think of that while walking 60 miles over 3 days. Up hills, through cold, heat, sun, rain, neighborhoods, over freeways, on sidewalks, on trails, in the desert and the mountains. Isn’t that life? We never know where the road is going to lead – cancer or not – peace can be with you no matter the diagnosis in your life.
As we were finishing the last 10 miles on Saturday we were in several miles of drizzling rain. I kept looking for blue sky and telling my teammate that I could see the blue sky coming over the horizon. I didn’t want her to quit, I wanted her to finish, to see that hope was coming our way. That day – it was literally about the rain vs. the sun. But, in life, we can always find a little bit of blue sky to be thankful for in hopes that soon it will overtake the rain and shine glorious over our peace filled lives.
May peace be with you,
** Taken from “Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl” by Lysa Terkeurst