2 December 2007 Last night when I was in bed I was thinking about all the things I had been through this last year. There in the darkened room, I sensed the Lord speak to me through the words of Jeremiah 29:11: ‘I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you!” I saw my year of treatment in a new way. Cancer is a disease. Satan had to ask God’s permission to test Job before he was allowed to send him trials. In the same way, before Satan could inflict me with cancer, he had to ask God.
The Lord showed me that it was all part of His plan because He wanted to prosper me and not harm me. The cancer was supposed to hurt me, maybe even destroy me but God knew me better. He knew I would use it to glorify Him at every opportunity. He knew I would call on Him when I was in deep distress. He had every person He knew I would need in place and waiting for me to call on them, like you Shirl, E__, D__, G__ and other friends and family. But most important of all He had His Son, my Lord Jesus, waiting to help me because He had already been ahead of me along the path of suffering.
Every word of encouragement from the mouths of my friends and family was in perfect symphony with the soft words of encouragement from Jesus. In every hug there were always two sets of arms, the person hugging me and my Lord’s. Every kind deed was accompanied with His perfect touch. And when I felt that I couldn’t carry on, He took over and literally carried me. I sensed a thrill move through my body. I have been prospered! I am so much richer for all I went through this last year. I always understood this verse of Scripture to mean wealth in financial and material means but I now realised that God meant it for so much more… spiritual, emotional, physical, mental… the list is endless.
I have grown so much this last year spiritually. I am more confident in myself. My love for the Lord has deepened beyond even my own comprehension. I know there are many cancer sufferers who haven’t discovered the pure joy of knowing God in their midst, eager to help them through the “valley of the shadow of death”. I long for them to know that His “rod and staff shall protect” them from “all evil” and all harm much like He has done for me, for D__ and for you. Even though D__ has gone on to be with the Lord, I now know she triumphed over death. She was prosperous and she was never harmed. The Lord made very sure of that because she belonged to Him.
D__ touched many people. She used to take devotional booklets with her to treatment and leave them in the Chemo room for others to read. That was just one way she tried to share God’s love with other sufferers. She always laughed and smiled. She had a joy that drew people to chat to her. While she was receiving treatment she would talk about how good God was to her. She shared this with me. And in this way God’s plans saw her prosper.
In the same way we, you and I, have been prospered as He promised. My joy at knowing this knows no bounds. Even if God calls me home today I know I have been victorious for Him. It doesn’t matter where I am in my walk along the path of life. What matters is that I glorify God on the journey
Love from your sister in Christ,
10 months after this email, on 17th October 2008, God did indeed take Cheryl home. Now she really knows the meaning of the word “prosper”! She’s living where even the streets are paved with gold.