I have come across many people in the past several years who talk excitedly about a very exclusive club — the Cancer Club. There is no ID card or dues expected when you are a member of this club. There are no official meetings, no speakers, no banquets. The only requirement to join is an unexpected and dreaded diagnosis. It is, in essence, an imaginary club with very real members. Members who are hurting and afraid.
I have always found talk about this club a bit odd. I was resistant to joining, but apparently once you qualify you have no choice.
However, I have slowly come to believe that the Cancer Club is not all bad. It makes those of us who feel afraid not feel quite so alone anymore. Support and encouragement from others who understand what you are going through is rarely a bad thing.
One might argue that if the Cancer Club does in fact exist, the leader would be Lance Armstrong. Lance has done much to raise funds for research, and he has encouraged many to “Livestrong®.” I appreciate his encouragement, and I have seen how it has given very frightened people renewed courage; however, my battle cry is quite different.
I have tried to “Livestrong®,” fight this battle through my own strength, and it has not gone well for me. There is no doubt that this cancer is stronger than me when I am standing alone. I alone cannot beat it, or even compete. It is only through Christ standing with me that I have gotten this far. So my battle cry has become, “Liveweak!” This is what I will repeat to myself as I train for this marathon. This is where I will find hope. It may seem contrary to all our culture has taught us to believe, but God is clear in 2 Corinthians 12:9 when He tells Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
I would like to begin our study by looking at the short text in 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10. Read it today and spend some time thinking on it, perhaps during a run. We will be discussing it in more detail over the next couple of weeks.
And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Great power in weakness is difficult for our mortal brains to process, I know, but we have several weeks to make sense of it. We have these weeks to build up our physical and spiritual bodies to be weak for Christ. This training will prepare us to complete a marathon, half marathon, or 5K, and it will prepare us for whatever plans God has for us. When He comes to call on us, we will be ready!