As Carol Kuykendall and her husband discovered, cancer and its treatment can sap not only your body but also your spirit. We asked Rev. Dr. Julie Berndt of the Good Samaritan Society to suggest Scripture verses that will bolster your spiritual health if you are living with cancer or caring for someone who is.
Practice acceptance. This doesn’t mean giving up. Instead of expending energy resisting your circumstances, just experience them, even if you can’t predict the outcome. As Paul notes in Romans, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (8:28)—in all things, including suffering (8:18).
Believe that you are not alone in your journey. In the same chapter, Paul tells us that when we are so weak “we do not know what we ought to pray for,” the Holy Spirit “himself intercedes for us” (Romans 8:26). Paul ends with the powerful message that nothing in creation can separate us from the love of God (8:38–39).
Look to grow. The theme of the Book of James is endurance. James suggests that “whenever you face trials,” consider them an opportunity for growth, as “the testing of your faith produces perseverance” and developing perseverance makes you “mature and complete” (1:2–4).
Reach out. Your journey with cancer may give you a deeper understanding of other people’s troubles. Let the Lord comfort you so that you can comfort them (II Corinthians 1:4–7).
Be intentional about rejoicing. In Philippians, Paul writes to people who are struggling. He himself is in prison. It is a dark time, yet there is great hopefulness in his letter. In verses 4:4–9, Paul links joy and worry, reminding us that they can happen at the same time. He urges us to see God’s presence in all situations and take joy in it. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (4:4).
Make prayer your antidote to worry. “Do not be anxious about anything,” Paul further challenges us, “but in every situation…present your requests to God” and you will find peace (Philippians 4:6–7).
Focus on quality of time, not quantity. Our life on earth is short; make the most of it. As Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Here’s more support for family caregivers.
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