I was recently reminded of John Piper’s book, “Don’t Waste Your Cancer.” The last time I read this was January 2013, when I was reminded of the truth that Jaime’s cancer was not a mistake, or God’s punishment, or even a waste. I sat down this morning and reread the short book and was re-inspired. Actually, I was a bit convicted. There are so many times where I have told others, “When you get through —- you will have such a story to share.” I have even told myself this. But, that is the farthest things from the truth. As we get to know the men and women of faith in the Scriptures, we read about moments when everything was just wonderful and then other times when they were at their lowest – situations when we feel their brokenness and join them in questioning the presence and provision of the God who promised He would never leave or forsake.
Why then are we waiting to share what He is doing in the midst of pain and loneliness? It could be we are so absorbed in the situation, so readily accepting that this particular crisis is what will deliver the final blow. Piper alludes to this when he questions whether we are spending more time absorbed by the cancer (pick any crisis you will) rather than pursuing the Creator. I can tell you that the longer Jaime and I focused on cancer and all the “what ifs?” we were full of fear and hopelessness. Everything changed when we clung to God, prayed together, and faced the unknown fully aware that even if “this” was it, God’s sovereignty and love were unchangeable.
This story is about the bend(s) in the road – not the destination. It’s full of one account after the next of how God shows up when I don’t see or fully understand the next step of the journey. My story is about how He invades the lonely, broken moments and reminds my heart of what is true. And those moments that have and continue to hurt the most are the stories I share – not because I seek praise for resilience, but because I hope you will come to know the reality of who God is and has been long before this bend in the road. Whether or not you share your story in a blog or on the phone with a friend, know that the beginning, the middle, and the present are what those around us need to hear. As Piper would admonish, “Don’t waste your depression, financial struggles, disappointments, loneliness, addictions, loss, terminal illness, etc.” Ask God to help you recognize and boldly brag on what He is doing in your life. And then share your story.