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Cancer? That Can't Be!
From the Free Presbyterian Tract Society

Can anyone really ever be ready for death? Are you one of the millions who hate to talk about it? Would you do anything to avoid thinking about it? Or have you ever experienced that deep feeling of fear and loss of purpose while attending the funeral of a friend? Then we want to share with you a true story—the story of Grace.

Grace was born in Toronto, Canada on November 20, 1989. Grace’s happy childhood days were spent in a loving Christian home, along with her two younger brothers. Her school days were also well spent, as she graduated from grade eight with honours. Grace was a beautiful, sweet-natured girl who was well loved by all of her peers. Her face always glowed with unusual warmth and vivacity and her captivating smile always brought a sparkle to her soft brown eyes. Grace’s life was in full bloom until one morning in early July 2003. This is Grace’s story as it was published in her school yearbook and excerpts from her personal diary:

It was just after grade eight graduation. I was so looking forward to a long summer break, but little did I know that that summer would change my life. (Grace’s family was planning a summer trip to the Rocky Mountains of Western Canada). In early July 2003, I started to feel tired every day. First checkups did not reveal any problems, but I also started having severe attacks of pain in my abdomen, lower back, and legs. I still was not expecting anything serious but this time the tests showed a mass around my spinal canal.

The doctor started the arrangements to send me to Toronto Sick Children’s Hospital. In a short time my pain increased extremely almost to the point of my being immobile. At the hospital, many, many tests followed including surgeries as well. Then came the shocking news: I have a cancerous tumour on my spine.

I was confused, sad, mad, scared, and I was trying to realize what was really happening. I knew God had allowed this to happen but I did not know why. However, I really was not upset with God. Many people blame God for the bad things of life. Of course, I was really sad and scared, but somehow God gave me peace so that I could accept it. I had to undergo stressful chemotherapy and rounds of radiation.

Before any of my sessions with a doctor, I would pray with my mom and dad together. I have to admit that I was quite scared sometimes, even to tears; however, deep down, I always had a sense of peace. I was thankful for being able to go to a good hospital. I was praying more than ever the following weeks. Since I was confined to the hospital the whole summer, I found much more time to read my bible every day. I felt my relationship with God was strengthening. He and I were becoming closer. I really felt his comfort and peace whenever I prayed.

Sometimes I would still ask why? Why me, God? It encourages me to remember that God has a purpose for everything (Romans 8:28). Near Christmastime (2003) I felt led to get baptized. I felt that since the Lord Jesus saved me and I became part of the family of God, I wanted my life to be a witness for Christ. I felt really good after that night. I was consecrating my life to God.

God helped me to pass grade nine with good marks with the help of my classmates and teachers. For this I am very thankful. I cannot imagine how difficult this experience would be without the Lord Jesus Christ. So all I can do is pray and depend on the Lord for the rest.” (Written from her hospital bed, late September 2004).

The title Grace chose for this yearbook article was Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” While Grace walked through the valley, she was conscious of the Lord’s presence as He promised. Shortly after she wrote this article, on October 16, 2004, the doctor told Grace that there was nothing more they could do for her medically except to try to manage her severe pain. The day after, Grace wrote this prayer in her personal diary:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know everything is in your hands. It has always been. There is nothing left that human doctors can do. However, you are the great physician. I do not know what your plan is; but I know you! Whatever you do is the best for me. You have promised in your Word, all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose. I know you have a purpose for my illness. I just do not know what the purpose is. Of course, I want to get better; but you may have other plans. I accept whatever you do. I thank you so much for everything you have done for me. You may want me to be with you any day soon. I love you, Lord. I thank you for dying on the cross for me and for saving me from my sins. I really want to write a hymn – please help me. I also want to read the Bible and pray a lot. I know you can heal me, but your will be done. Thank you for giving me peace, I really need peace. I know you can take away my pain. Please do, Lord! But again your will be done. You say in your own Word the Bible, in 1 Corinthians 10:13 – ‘There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’

Lord, you have helped, comforted, calmed, and cheered me up. You have brought me through a whole year and about three months. Now, please let me be able to see the yearbook when it comes. I am really excited—two weeks please….”

These were Grace’s last words in her diary. God granted her prayer and gave her exactly two weeks. He also granted her simple request to see the yearbook. No one knew but the Lord. Two weeks later, on November 1, 2004—just before her fifteenth birthday—Grace went to be with her beloved Redeemer. Grace did not trust her good works, her religion, or even her faith. She did not practice nor master positive thinking, but rather she trusted the Lord Jesus Christ. Just prior to her illness, Grace asked Him to come into her heart to save her and He did. The Lord was always faithful to her as He promised in His Word, even in the darkest hours, and lowest valleys. He will do the same for you if you will accept Him. Today, if you hear His voice, don’t harden your heart. Instead, listen to His words of life:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.1 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked to lasciviousness [lustfulness], lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries.2 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.3 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.4

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.5 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.6 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.7 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.8

1 John 3:16
2 I Peter 4:2-3
3 Hebrews 9:27
4 Revelation 20:15
5 Romans 8:1
6 I Corinthians 2:9
7 Ephesians 5:16
8 Romans 8:28

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