I woke up this morning feeling some kind of way. It’s difficult putting the feeling into words. Maybe I’m simply not digging deeply enough. Let me explain…
I’m a breast cancer survivor who discovered the lump herself. I woke up one September day four years ago and, for some reason, my right hand reached for the top of my left breast and that’s when I felt the lump. That day started my breast cancer journey. When I woke up today, my right hand reached for the top of my left breast just like it did that day in September 2013. And I felt the lump again – this time I knew it was simply scar tissue but it evoked memories of that day four years ago. I performed my self-check and got out of bed.
I was standing in my closet looking for something to wear to church when my husband walked in and asked me what was wrong. I shook my head and started crying. He pulled me into his arms and rocked me while I told him how I’m tired of always thinking about cancer: the diagnosis, the fear I would die, the treatments, the chance of recurrence. I’m sick of all of it.
And then it dawned on me – I’ve thought about cancer every single day since my October 22, 2013 diagnosis. Cancer has bombarded my thoughts for four long years. I can honestly say I’ve probably thought about cancer more frequently than I’ve thought about my husband, my children, my job, and maybe even more frequently than I’ve thought about the Lord Jesus Christ.
As I contemplated the frequency with which I thought about cancer, four scriptures popped in my mind: Philippians 4:8, Colossians 3:2, Isaiah 26:3, and Matthew 6:34. These verses teach us valuable lessons regarding our minds, our thoughts, and our focus.
Think on the Right Things
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things, (Philippians 4:8 KJV).
Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on the things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, excellent, and worthy of praise. Dwelling on cancer and the chance of recurrence aren’t the things I need to think about. Instead, I need to think about Christ and how He kept me during my cancer journey. I need to think about how He is keeping me now. I need to think about the grace, mercy, and favor He continues to show me. What are you thinking about? Do you often find yourself thinking about the wrong things? Perhaps Philippians 4:8 can help you refocus your thinking.
Focus On Things Above
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth, (Colossians 3:2 NASB)
We tend to think about ourselves a lot, more than necessary. Instead of focusing on ourselves, we need to focus on things above, “where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God,” (Colossians 3:1, NASB). Instead of worrying about recurrence, I need to focus on God and the good works, “which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,” (Ephesians 2:10 KJV). There are good works God has ordained for us. If we’re busy working for the Lord, we don’t have time to sit around feeling sorry for ourselves or worrying ourselves about things we can’t control. Keep your focus on things above.
Keep Your Mind on God
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee, (Isaiah 26:3 KJV).
Isaiah 26:3 promises to keep us in perfect peace when we keep our minds stayed on God. Stayed in this verse means “to prop, to lean upon or take hold of; bear up, establish, stand fast, sustain” (see Strong’s H5564). This scripture seems simple enough. When our minds are propped up, leaned on, and established on God, He will keep us in perfect peace (shalowm shalowm in the Hebrew). I don’t know about you but I need perfect peace (shalowm shalowm). I need the peace that passes all understanding. I need the peace, tranquility, that’s found only in God. Perhaps you need the same thing. I urge you to keep Isaiah 26:3 in your spirit and meditate on it.
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own, (Matthew 6:34 KJV).
Matthew 6:34 is another clear verse. There’s no use worrying about tomorrow and what could happen. It’s actually a waste of time and takes away from the good works we should be performing for the Lord today. God holds our yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows in His hands. We need only trust Him and rely upon Him. Are you a worried about something? I urge you to cast it upon the Lord and leave it right there with Him.
I’m typically good about staying focused on God and His righteousness but today I slipped. Today, the memories from October 22, 2013 moved me to mourning and weeping but I refuse to beat myself up about it. I am human after all and I needed to remind myself of these four verses. I needed to pick myself up, shake off the negative thinking, and refocus on the Lord. And I did that.
If memories are trying to steal your joy, I urge you to take them to the Lord in prayer and remind yourself of the verses I included here. I also urge you to open the bible and find comfort through the scriptures. Perhaps speaking to a trusted friend or counselor would be beneficial in helping you overcome the weights of the past. Seek the Lord and ask Him for wise counsel. He will provide it and heal you in the process.
Remember, you are an overcomer in Christ Jesus and this too shall pass.