I have been cancer free for over twenty years now. And for this, I am extremely grateful. When I first heard the words, “You have cancer”, it was shocking. Surgery followed and annual checkups now occur. My specialist now practices in Cincinnati and it was just a week ago that I was examined by him. On the drive home from Cincinnati, I had a few thoughts on being a cancer patient. First, if you ever hear the words “You have cancer”, do not panic. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). God is still God, and He is in charge of your life. Plus, the medical field has made so many advances in recent years in treating all types of diseases, including cancer, that there is no cause to panic. By the way, medicine and medical treatment is not prohibited in scripture. Quite to the contrary, one of the New Testament writers was Luke, a physician and companion of the Apostle Paul. It is apparent that Paul needed the assistance that Luke, as a physician, could provide (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). Thus, and this is important, God uses Paul’s infirmity as cause for Luke’s development as a Christian, researcher and author. God can use whatever infirmity you may have. He has permitted it. He can also cure it or lead you to a treatment center where relief may be found. If you do hear those frightening words, “You have cancer”, you will probably ask, “Why?” You may never know why. Don’t panic. Accept it, but fight it. Cancer is an enemy, just like other illnesses and, of course, death (1 Corinthians 15:26). Use prayer and medical treatment. Medicine is a gift from God, as are physicians. Take this gift and use it. Secondly, keep a positive attitude. John Haggai, a Christian motivational speaker and former pastor, has written “Today’s attitude is tomorrow’s reality.” Don’t let illness of any kind cause your faith to waver. Be in prayer. Ask God for healing but also ask God to use your illness to encourage others. “Lord, don’t let this illness be wasted. Use it to inspire others through my attitude.” Lastly, count each day a blessing. Jesus himself told us to pray, “Give us this day, our daily bread.” Every day God gives you on earth is a blessing, a gift. Use each day wisely. Tell the people you love that you do love them. Pet on your bird, dog or cat. Plant some flowers. In winter, make a snowman. On Sunday, attend church. Nourish your faith and deepen your walk with God. There will come a day for all of us, cancer patients and non-cancer patients, that it will be our last on earth. Do not waste the days God gives you. Use them beneficially. For Christ and His Church, Pastor Joel