Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God…”
This weekend, I was the keynote speaker at the CURE Childhood Cancer luncheon here in Atlanta. The luncheon event is an annual event hosted by Chris Glavine (wife of Tom Glavine – former Atlanta Braves player) and the CURE Childhood Cancer organization that honors mothers of children with cancer and those who have lost children to cancer.
This was the 8th annual luncheon, and they sold more tickets to this event than any of the past 8 years.
I was able to share briefly (they only gave me 15 minutes) my story, and some inspiration words to those who were present. At the end of the event, I probably signed almost 100 autographs, gave away 75 copies of my book, and got lots and lots of hugs and handshakes, which was a lot of fun.
However, the best part was the comments many of the people made. One lady told me her son who is 8 years old now had been diagnosed with the same type of cancer I had, and also when he was four. She said he is now in remission, but they had wondered how the rest of his life would be. With tears in her eyes she said, “Joshua, you have given me SO MUCH hope for our son’s future!” And many others had comments about how much hope and inspiration they got from hearing me speak and share my story.
Now…if I hadn’t had cancer myself 42 years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to share a story like I did. Oh, I could have gotten up there and told them some inspirational words or something. However, many would have thought; “What do you know about cancer? You’ve never had it?”. But, hearing my story and how I was supposed to die 42 years ago from this dreaded disease, but am still here was what many of the people in the room needed to hear.
Was having cancer fun? NO! Is dealing with all of the daily things I’ve had to deal with for my entire life fun? NO! But, they changed my life and made me trust God completely. They made me realize how much I need Him everyday, and they eventually caused me to understand that God DOES make EVERYTHING work “TOGETHER” for good.
When I stopped speaking at the end of my short speech yesterday, and stepped down from the stage, everyone in the room stood up and applauded for a LONG time. Many of the faces I looked into had tears in their eyes. And almost everyone I made eye contact with for the next couple of minutes mouthed the words “THANK YOU!!”. For me, going through the pain of cancer and the stuff I have to deal with is worth it.
Our lives are not always filled with FUN things. Unfortunately, we have to face some painful things at times. But every painful thing we face is all part of God’s plan for our lives. When he brings trouble and problems into our lives, He’s NOT destroying our lives – He is CREATING our lives.
When we make a cake, we add flour and other ingredients to it. Now, if we took a scoop of flour by itself and ate it – it would taste terrible, we would spit it out. But when we add to it the good stuff, like sugar, chocolate, etc., and put it all together – we get an awesome cake.
The same with our lives – just because bad stuff happens to us, doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us. He knows perfectly well what He is doing. And sometimes, in order for us to learn what He wants us to learn, or to prepare us for something He wants in our lives – we have to undergo problems. But when the problems do come – don’t give up hope, don’t quit, don’t stop trusting – In fact, TRUST HIM MORE!!
God is in COMPLETE Control of everything. And HE knows what HE is doing!