YOUR WEAKNESSES ARE NOT A PROBLEM FOR JESUS by Adriel Sanchez for Core Christianity
I recently had a conversation with an older brother in Christ who was diagnosed two years ago with multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer. He spoke to me about how God has used cancer to chip away at the sin in his life. He wasn’t shy about the pain and the drain associated with cancer, but he also emanated a child-like joy when he described how the Lord was ministering to him in this difficult time. I felt like I was in the presence of an angel with thick lensed glasses. A young believer sitting at the feet of a spiritual giant, I was trying to download all the wisdom I could from him. At one point, he said, “You know, we always talk about how we want to grow in Jesus. I’m finding as I get older that I only get smaller, and God gets bigger.”
This reminded me of two things. First, it reminded me of the words I had read from J. Todd Billings’ book, Rejoicing in Lament. Billings was also diagnosed with multiple myeloma. In the book, he shares a card he received from a young woman in his church. “Get well soon! Jesus loves you! God is bigger than cancer!” He writes,
While I had received many cards in the previous days, this one was different. “God is bigger than cancer!” Yes. She did not say, “God will cure you of this cancer,” or “God will suffer with you.” God is bigger than cancer. The fog is thick, but God is bigger. My cancer story was already developing its own sense of drama. The sky was closing in, enveloping my whole world so that nothing else could creep in. But God’s story, the drama of God’s action in the world, was bigger.
Sometimes we get lost in the fog of life and shrink beneath the pain of a sinful world, but God remains bigger.
The man’s words also reminded me of John the Baptist. John’s disciples were bothered that their Rabbi’s ministry was losing numbers. The crowds were now going to Jesus, and this meant less notoriety for their teacher (Jn. 3:27) John was shrinking, but in the midst of his loss he had a guileless joy. “The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.” (Jn. 3:29-30)