In my case, my cancer was for all intents and purposes, cured through surgery. The cancer was removed and I thank God that there has been no evidence at all of it still lurking about. My doctor has said that we can consider it gone. In Claire’s case, our doctor has said that while the treatments will hopefully beat it back into remission, it is possible that with this particular cancer this may be a life-long battle. It sometimes does come back since the cancer cells are never completely removed. This cancer is simply a different “animal” than mine. In a matter of hours, everything we had hoped and planned for in our future seemed to be up in the air and we were in a state of fear and much uncertainty.
During the week after we learned of the diagnosis, I was reading through my devotional book that I use, Seeking His Face. In that week I read from Exodus 14 which tells the story of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea as they are leaving slavery in Egypt. Now it’s important to get a visual image of what is happening here. The people have now been thrown out of Egypt by Pharaoh and are on their way led by God in the cloudy pillar. They are now at the shore of the Red Sea, a sea that must have looked like an ocean would look to us: impossible to cross and too big to go around. And then they look back behind them and see a billowing cloud of dust and realize the whole Egyptian army is thundering toward them, leaving them trapped against the Red Sea. Needless to say, they were terrified and they cry out to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” (Exodus 14:11-12) We tend to look down at the Israelites for their complaining and lack of faith and sometimes our attitude toward them is justifiable. However, I can imagine that if I were in that group I’d be terrified and questioning Moses as well! They are completely trapped with no hope of escape visible.
Moses reassured them, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” If I were in that group, I would be looking around to see how God was going to fight the Egyptians. How is God going to do this to get us out of this impossible situation? And then the Lord speaks to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.” Now let’s review for a moment: the vast Red Sea is in front of them, forbidding desert to the sides and Egyptians thundering down behind them. Where exactly are they to move on to?? I can imagine them thinking, “God, there is no place to move on to! What do you mean move on?”
I must admit that I have felt like that as we face this latest challenge. We face a future, which from our perspective looks at least uncertain and at times quite scary because we have cancer pressing in on us. We know we have to move on both in the near term and long term, but it’s hard to see where that path is right now. And then we remember, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” I know that many of those who are reading are facing their own Red Sea and Egyptians and you may be trying to be still as God fights for you as well. Be encouraged in your own battle. God will fight for you but we must learn to be still.
So that is where we are as of this writing. We are being still and waiting for where we are to move on. We are waiting to see how God will part the waters for us. I have no doubt that he will for he has shown us that he will already in the way he provided good medical care for Claire and in the fact that it doesn't appear to be too advanced. We are trusting that God will lead us through the near term this fall and winter, and trusting that God will lead us on no matter what. We are learning once again to be still but still be moving on.