Who’s in Control

Hands_of_God_and_AdamI’m sure you’ve  heard about the man who stumbled over a cliff. As he plummeted towards the rocks below, he grabbed hold of a small tree growing out of the side of the cliff.

“Help!” he yelled at the top of his lungs as he dangled over the chasm below. “Help! Is there anyone up there who can help me?” After what seemed like a long pause, he heard a loud voice. 

“Don’t be afraid – I am here.” “

Oh thank goodness!” the man responded in relief. “Who are you?”

“I am the Almighty God,” boomed the response. That sounded like good news. Surely God would be able to help him.

“Quick, what must I do? he screamed.”

“Let go of the branch, and my everlasting arms will catch you.” After a marked pause, the man responded.

“Help! Is there anyone else up there who can help me?”

During my year of aggressive treatment for cancer, I knew that the Lord was in control. I trusted Him to guide my decisions, and to lead my medical team. But I admit, at times, the temptation was strong to call out, “Is there anyone else out there?” The experience of being out of control is frightening. You let someone you don’t know put you to sleep, and trust that the guy with the knife knows what he’s doing. That’s scary.

I knew the Lord was ultimately in control, but I didn’t want to feel I was handing my life over to people I didn’t know. “This is my life!” I decided. “I am taking control wherever I can. I will make decisions, guided by God.” You can do the same. Okay, most of this “control” is in your mind, but in some other posts we’ve seen the power our minds have over our bodies.

Perhaps the most important way of maintaining control is to ask questions. “Why do I need that?” “How will it affect me?” “What can I do to improve the side-effects?” Do you need surgery? Ask what they’re going to do. Seek to understand. Then consciously, with God’s guidance, give your consent. It’s your body. You make the decision to go ahead with the procedure.

Are you about to commence radiation? Do you understand how it works? Have you asked? Obviously, don’t expect to have the same knowledge as the experts. You have to trust them—but you choose to go ahead on the treatment.

If you need chemotherapy, speak to your oncologist about the possibility of a port. There are various types, but all have the same function; to transport the chemicals into your major veins. I know of a number of people who did not have this, and the regular struggle to find veins became a real and unnecessary nightmare. Ask for—insist on—a port. It’s your body.

Wherever possible, ask questions, seek to understand, take control. And of course, don’t forget who’s really in control. The radiotherapists, the doctors, even your oncologist, are only tools in the hands of God. Remembering this will save you many times of panic and turmoil. So, “Is there anyone else up there?” Nope. No one. Why would we need anyone else?  

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