One of the things that helps me in writing a blog post is to define the title. It puts things into a certain perspective for me that helps me remain true to the initial thread of thought that I started out with.
So why ‘incurable’, simply because that’s the word that was used to describe the cancer I’ve been diagnosed with. It’s not curable, nor is it something that can be removed through surgery. It’s something that my oncologist will try to manage for as long as chemo, radiation or what ever other modality he may dream up will keep the cancer at bay. So how long do I need to keep being treated? For the rest of my life. I’ll be honest in saying that when I heard that prescription it was almost as bad as hearing that the cancer was incurable. I imagined breaks in my chemo treatments so my body would have time to heal before starting on the next round, but I’ve gotten the distinct impression that may not be the case. Any let up will only give the cancer an opportunity to further entrench itself and continue to flourish.
I take all of this information and then I have to process/filter it through my Christian world view. And when I did I recognized that my chemotherapy, in it’s fight against my cancer, is similar to the war I am supposed to be waging against sin – and that is unrelenting. If I let up for a minute sin will take the opportunity to sink it’s grasp deeper into me. Sin is definitely the thing that given an inch will take a mile. Another cancer/sin analogy is the way cancer isn’t attacked by the bodies own immune system. Cancer in it’s simplest terms are our own cells run amok. My immune system doesn’t see the cancer cells as an outside invader and so it doesn’t react to them. Much in the same way our personal sins try to mask themselves in ways that we don’t recognize or more often won’t recognize for what they are. They become a weakness that we live with, a character flaw that we may even laugh at, or more often an insidious side to ourselves that we try to hide even from ourselves. And like cancer our sins continue to grow if left unchecked. Some of them may seem benign and lay dormant for years or decades only to then come to the surface. And some, like an ulcer fester until there is no way to hide them any longer and they are brought to light with an often times devastating impact.
So what are we to do – how do we battle such an adversary? Like cancer and our health in general, we need to take preventive measures.
- We need to make sure we’re having a nutritious diet. For the Christian that means being well fed on the Word of God.
- We need to do self examination by checking our walk against Gods Word, through meditation and prayer. And if we think we’ve found an issue, that we can’t cure, we need to be willing to reach out for help.
- Just as importantly, we need to have regular checkups by being in relationship(s) with fellow believers who will hold us accountable to what they see.
Here’s where the analogy ends. My cancer may be incurable and it may very well be what ultimately kills me, but this life leaves us all terminal patients. So while I am one of the (we all are) walking dead to this mortal frame, I am alive in Christ and that life will never perish.
Philippians 1: 19-21
19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Fight the good fight my friends with your focus on the true prize.