“You have cancer” — It’s a phrase no one wants to hear. I certainly didn’t.
But as strange as it sounds, I now look back on that period of my life filled with hospital visits and radiation treatments, and I feel incredibly grateful.
For a long time, I felt the Lord calling me to share my cancer journey and the lessons He taught me during that time. Ten years ago, I finally sat down and did it, and the result was a book called Why? Answers to Weather the Storms of Life.
Even now, I still receive emails from people saying how they can relate to the story … even if their trial isn’t cancer. My prayer is that the 10th anniversary addition — and the new group discussion guide and devotional — will continue to help people through the storms in their own lives. My prayer is that it will help you.
You can order the book for just $8.99 today. Plus, you can get the study materials absolutely FREE. Still not sure if Why? is right for you? Check out this short excerpt below for a sneak preview:
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April 25, 2015, will be forever etched in the minds of millions of people in Nepal. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake erupted, causing catastrophic devastation throughout the country. Thousands of homes came crashing to the ground in mere seconds. Then 17 days later, another major earthquake ripped through this already broken nation. Millions were left homeless … with only the clothes on their backs and no food or clean water. Many mourned the death of loved ones while others searched frantically for missing family and friends. They were completely and utterly without hope. As I walked through the streets and neighborhoods in the aftermath of the earthquake, everyone I talked to asked the same question … “Why? Why me? Why here? Why is help not coming sooner? Why … why … why?”
LIFE IS TOUGH … IT’S A REAL STRUGGLE! Let’s face it — the reality of life is that you are either entering a storm, going through a storm, or coming out of a storm. Some storms are worse than others … but they are all inevitable.
My storm was cancer. What’s yours?
Maybe you just received some bad news from the doctor and your hands still shake when you think about it. Or, your spouse left you, breaking your heart into so many pieces that you fear it will never be whole again. Possibly, you just lost your job and you don’t know how you will make next month’s rent. Or, maybe you found drug paraphernalia in your child’s room. It could be that the love of your life just died. If so, I am truly sorry. Whatever your struggle, you probably feel hopeless and alone. And you probably have one question in your mind — “Why?”
On the other hand, you might be thinking, “Wait a minute, my life is going pretty well. I’m happy … no big struggles or challenges.”
I don’t know your situation. But I do know this — sooner or later, we all face storms. No one is exempt from problems. I know … I’ve been there.
My life was picture perfect — with a wife and family that I loved, a job I enjoyed and a ministry that was fulfilling — I had it all! Then the bottom dropped out. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease … cancer! To be honest, I went through hell and, in doing so, felt the gamut of emotions — fear, rage, anxiety, resentment, and more. It seemed that I fought God every step of the way. It was a time when all the trappings of life were stripped away and I came face-to-face with God.
I began to understand the reality of my physical limitations and the hope of my spiritual destiny. When I was at my lowest, God was there for me … even when I treated Him the worst. And He’s there for you, too.
My struggle with cancer was extremely difficult, but I can truly say that the most painful period of my life is now the most meaningful to me. I learned some specific principles of God’s Word that comforted me, empowered me, and opened my heart to a better life than I ever dreamed possible.
After God healed me of cancer, I knew it must have been because He had something big planned for my life. It made me live with my eyes wide open, looking for opportunities to make an eternal difference for Him. It was because of my battle with cancer that I was willing to say “yes” to God when a few years later two friends approached me about starting a ministry to help send Bibles to Russia.
Since then, World Help has grown into an incredible family of passionate donors, national partners, and staff, reaching more than 82 million people in 71 countries around the globe!
Through the ministry of World Help, I’ve had the opportunity to carry malnourished children in my arms down from the Guatemalan mountains and pray with their families as they received urgent medical help.
I’ve had the chance to provide food for a refugee father who was so desperate he tried to give me his tiny, infant daughter because he believed it was the only way to save her life. I’ve traveled to North Korea, and I’ve talked to defectors who were tortured simply because they believed in Jesus and who worry each day for their loved ones still inside the closed borders. I’ve handed out Bibles to women whose husbands were slaughtered during the historic genocide in Rwanda.
And each time I meet someone going through a major storm in their life, I am able to relate to them and tell them that God will bring them through it … because I know from experience.
There are answers to the question, “Why?” But it can be a long and incredibly difficult learning experience before we fully know the answer.
You may not believe it now, but your storm could be viewed as a gift. Because of my struggles with pain and illness, I feel greater compassion, live more purposefully and enjoy the most amazing calling on my life — to give help and hope to people in great need.
Now, every day I try to live my life in such a way that I accomplish at least one thing that will outlive me and last for eternity. What a motivation!
Let’s begin our journey from pain to healing … from questions to answers … from restoration to divine purpose … and hopefully, you, too, can find the answers to “Why?”
When the earthquake of April 2015 shook Nepal, the victims wondered if they would ever be able to pick up their lives out of the wreckage. My close friend, a pastor who runs a children’s home in Nepal, said the boys and girls huddled in tents the night after the quake because most of their homes had been damaged or destroyed. Many of them were too traumatized to sleep. But finally the tremors stopped. And these children and many others who suffered so greatly in the midst of the earthquake found new hope through the compassion of others … and through the grace of God. I received word that the rebuilding of the children’s home had been completed — made possible by generous donors. Sixty boys and girls, once too terrified to close their eyes, could now sleep soundly in a new, beautiful building. It was a symbol to me of the life and hope that can come after the storm.
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