What if the worst thing we can imagine actually were to happen? Would we know how to face it? Close family members of mine and friends are going through some challenging and trying times right now. As I’ve been praying for them, I remember my torment and difficulty when I went through my cancer treatment. An ongoing and one of the most difficult emotional/mental challenges is waiting for the results to confirm our suspicions, our fears. Cancer patients use the word “Scanxiety,” and it’s an actual challenge we face. Every new test has the power to return you to that vulnerable state of the first devastating diagnosis. There’s something about this kind of tragic news that changes you, makes you more suspicious, fearful, and afraid to hope. The good news is that God knows and understands this and can help us through it. The other news is relayed in Luke 12:25-26 that worrying doesn’t change the results.
25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[c]26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?Luke 12:25-26
Scanxiety, “Triggers,” and World Events
Many current events are causing most people today anxiety, including me. There’s a part of me that tends to lean towards the negative and fatalistic regarding current events. Admittedly, it’s often my first response as I see systems emerge that will facilitate the world of the end times. As a Christian, I should want Jesus to come back soon, but honestly, part of me isn’t ready. Who wants to deal with those choices we will have to face in the end? We will be tried, and we could fail. It’s the same anxiousness I feel before cancer scans. I will still have to battle “Scanxiety,” although it’s not as bad now. What should we do when we experience anxiety that’s based on a probable event? How do we manage our stress when we see symptoms and signs? God is good enough to give us strength.
The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
Think The Worst
I’m a possibility thinker, and I tend to see challenges where others see problems. However, during cancer treatments, this trait was more difficult to muster. Anxiety kept creeping up about death, and it wouldn’t go away. After praying, I realized that I needed to do a face-to-face. I had to go out on the figurative waters to that terrifying place. It’s where that breathless question repeats its whispers, “What if I die, or what if this kills me?” Although I rebuked, spoke, believed, and prayed, I had to do something new to stop or curb my torment. I had to embrace the question. Yes, the Bible exhorts us to think about what’s pure, lovely, of good rapport, etc. It also says that we need to think whatever ever is accurate; that’s not always or me. God gave me strength when I faced the truth with his truth.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.Phillipians 4:8
Face The Truth with His Truth
When I realized I had to face my mortality, I prayed, researched scriptures on life and death, on God’s goodness, and every question I had. It feels so unfair to have to deal with it at all. I hated feeling forced to, but I told myself the truth, that every person has to face it. In our death, we are transported into the hands of a mighty and wonderful God. There are no tears; there is light and love. We will have the capacity to see and know God more powerfully than our mortal bodies, and our finite minds can handle here on earth. It’s going to be a true joy to reunite with loved ones. The best part is that we will experience love, joy, and beauty that we’ve not come close to on earth. When r I dwelled on these thoughts and researched these scriptures, I was comforted that the worst thing that can happen isn’t the worst thing.
“Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”1 Corinthians 15:55-57
What About My Kids?
The worst for me was the concern for my loved ones. For parents, what will happen to their kids is probably the worst kind of torment. My cousin Debbie called me after my dad passed. She relayed a story about her mom, my Aunt Rose when Rose was preparing her will. Debbie told her that she didn’t know how she could handle it when her parents pass away. Aunt Rose said people have been losing parents since the start of parenthood, and Debbie will find her way. Adding to my Aunt Rose’s wisdom, I took it one step further. Every time those tormenting thoughts come to our minds, we kick them back by praying for our kids. We transform torment into a foundation of prayer with lasting blessings for our kids and loves. God can keep them when we go.
12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.[a]2 Timothy 1:12
Who wants to think of leaving our family behind or that our life here is over, but if that’s what’s giving us the anxiety, we can’t ignore it. I don’t want to think about the last days, Christian persecution, the mark of the beast. It will happen, possibly in my lifetime or that of my kids. When I’m forced to face it in the light of God’s truth, it losses its power. It dissipates when I hit it with the light of God’s comforting words. Do I invite my death, persecution, or apostasy by accepting these possibilities? No, I’m facing what we all must face and denying its power to give me anxiety. I am assured that God is writing my story, he has a plan for my life, and that he can keep me from falling and bring me to heaven at his timing, not cancer’s.
54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”1 Corinthians 15:54
Lord, I pray for everyone reading this right now and lifting myself as well. Let your word be a lamp to our feet, a light to our path. Guide us into facing the truth that scares us with your truth that gives us strength, power, and joy. For everyone dealing with an impossible situation, we give you permission to swoop into our lives and work a mighty miracle, both within our souls and in our bodies. Thank you that the power of death was swallowed up in your victory, your resurrection. Amen.
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.John 14:27
Do you know that we don’t have to guess if God will accept us in heaven? It’s not about doing works. The works are an outcropping of God loving us; it’s not how we get to heaven. We could never do enough good works to outweigh every sin in our lives. That’s why Jesus had to come. The only reason why he was tortured and killed is to atone for our sins. If you haven’t sat with Jesus and accepted that sacrifice, do that right now. You will then be assured a spot in heaven.