My gran, Doris Anderson, was diagnosed with
cancer over 30 years ago and yet she managed to fight through and
live a relatively full life through it all to the good age of 89.
This thort is taken from a meditation that she wrote as she was
contemplating the move from Johannesburg to Cape Town (in 1991)
with much trepidation and looked back on another crisis in her
life (possibly the break-up of her marriage):
"Two things are very certain when
we are born. One is that we shall surely die one day, and the
other is that we will meet with problems leading us into confusion,
pain and often desperation. Committing one's life to Christ does
not mean the end of trouble but it means that we will have all
that will need to go through it…
One of the things I have most sincerely
believed is that what happens to one is not as important as how
we react to it….
But when the day came that big trouble hit me—so big that
I didn't even want to go on living—it was as if Christ said
to me `No, live out all those things you have believed with the
mind for so long.' And it took…His love and my obedience
5 years to make me whole again.
We ask, `Why me?' when trouble comes
instead of, `What are you trying to teach me, Lord?' We become
angry with God and then we have a choice. Either we learn through
that experience and grow or we shrivel up inside, are full of
resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness which makes God's work
of healing impossible….
The Bible is full of promises which the Lord expects us to claim
and live by. One that has been precious to me is:
`As your days, so shall your strength
'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'
Hang onto such promises, and you will find yourself growing spiritually
and having a God-given ministry for others who are suffering the
same confusion, disappointment and fear that you have come through.'
I close [she wrote] with words from Elizabeth Goudge:
Whatever happens, I'll never be afraid again, for when you've
once passed through the place of torment to the place beyond, you
know you can do it again. You know there's a strength somewhere
that you can call upon. You have confidence.'
And we know where that comes from when
Jesus is Lord."
Doris's faith was to the very end not
a vague hope but an assurance, indeed a certainty. She knew Jesus
as her Lord and Saviour. She knew that He had died for her sins.
She knew that when the time came she could be sure that she could
stand before God not in any righteousness of her own—for which of us can claim to be
good or righteous in God's holy presence, and like us all Doris
had her faults—but in the righeousness of Jesus and Jesus
At the end of her life she said emphatically to Peter: `I know
where I am going. I love the Lord. Please do not stop me from dying.'
So she leaves us all with the two questions:
· Do you know where you are going?
· Do you love the Lord?
Jesus said: `I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes
in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who believes
in Me shall never die' (Jn.11:25)