OH, how I remember that dark evening when my telephone rang and my daughter broke the news that she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Of all the types of cancer, why this type? Hearing those words virtually knocked the breath out of my body. I must have been speechless for a moment, but then my daughter vowed that she would be the one who would beat pancreatic cancer despite the fact that it had already traveled to her liver and the odds of her recovery were slim to none. She had the FAITH TO BELIEVE THAT GOD IS A HEALER. She respected what the doctor said and what medical science had to offer on her condition, but yet, she chose to believe the report of the Lord.
Though Danie was the one who got the bad news initially, her response was an eye-opener for me. She actually comforted me with her attitude and words. I was the prayer warrior in the family, I was the one who stood in the gap for the family, I was the only minister in the family to my knowledge, and yet, that news hit me like a ton of bricks. As soon as I got off the phone I hit the floor. My first response should have been one of agreement, worship and thanking the God that still heals all of our diseases. But it took me awhile to get to the place where I began to worship God and call upon the faith that had been entrusted to me by my creator.
Danie’s journey was a long grueling fourteen months. But her faith held firm, she stood tall and unchanged and strong in her god’s ability to help her weather this storm. She ultimately lost the battle to cancer on this side, and is now resting with our Lord, completely healed and made whole. Her prayers for her husband and daughter have been answered. Jayla and Jay have been restored and now have been united as a family with a wife for him, a mother for Jayla and a big sister, Hallelujah!
How like job, my seven year journey through grief and bereavement. We as Christians are sometimes duped into thinking that our rewards and service on earth should only result in good things and not bad. But the fact of the matter is, the Lord says that He allows the sun to shine on the good and on the bad. Job 1:13-22 gives us incite on how dealt with the consequence of losing his children and all of his earthly possessions. Job says: “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble.” When Job received the terrible news about the calamity that showed up on his life the Scripture says that he fell to the ground in worship (Job 1:20) when his wife told him he should curse God and die, he refused to do so. What a radical different response to hearing such devastating news. Job however, as you continue to read his narrative, began to complain about his troubles. He began to defend his record to his friends. He felt that God unfairly, brought this trouble upon him. He kept declaring his righteousness before God and before his friends. Ultimately, he accepted his part in his dilemma that of having a self-righteous, prideful attitude toward what God had allowed him to go through.
I remember having to have what I call, “A come to Jesus moment.” I had to repent of my feelings and pride of believing I had a right to expect God to heal my daughter from cancer. My sense of entitlement was wrong and prompted by pride. Job had to accept the sovereignty of God and so did I. Job learn that God was with him and still cared for him. I too, had to learn that God cared for me and that he allowed me to go through this tragic situation for many reasons that I won’t share in this text, but I have shared in the books that I have written on this subject.
On the day of the funeral, in the church where it was being held, in the midst of the choir singing, “Hallelujah You’re Worthy to Be Praise,” I got out of my seat and broke into a praise. I shouted and worshiped God until my soul felt satisfied! I couldn’t just sit there in my seat unmoved and defeated about the fact that the Lord had called my daughter home. I remembered her love, her devotion to her husband and infant child. I remembered the first day I set eyes on her the day she was born. I recalled her childhood, the teenage years, and the awesome wonderful, caring, and loving adult she became. I recollected the day on the telephone when she received the baptism of the Holy Spirit while we were praying and praising God for her deliverance from this awful disease. At that moment, the spirit of God reminded me of all the goodness He had poured out into the life of His dear daughter, Danielle Ford-Geter, and my heart was overwhelmed with both grief and joy. Surely, the joy of the Lord was my strength on that day.
That was the second time I had broken out into praise and worship. The first time was actually when my husband, my mom, sister and I went to view the body. I knelt down in front of the casket and worshiped God. I had no words in English, so I began to go up in prayer in tongues. There is something supernatural and cleansing about the Spirit of Christ praying on your behalf.
As I come to the end of this blog, I’d like for you to consider that “Praise” should always be your first response to difficulties. Sometimes the pain and anguish of our circumstances is so overwhelming, that we lash out in anger or in fear. But I recall my daughter’s fearless fight against pancreatic cancer. I remember her absolute resolve in believing and trusting in God to heal her, right to the end of her life. And with that memory in mind, I say Hallelujah, Praise God for the good and the bad. Romans 8:28 reminds us that: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”