5 Books that Breathe Faith into the Cancer Journey

Those who shake their family tree may be pelted with details they’d rather not know. The blight I encountered in my particular grove was cancer—multiple varieties, hereditary strains. Suddenly I feel a deep kinship with the unending parade of friends and acquaintances who are hearing the word cancer breathed into the air of clinical spaces. I’m thankful that God has hand-picked a few writers who have suffered the effects of cancer to speak from their experience, for while it is true that no two cancer journeys are identical, it is also true that shared grief is lightened.

Cancer is this month’s theme for The Redbud Post. I’ve added my voice to the message that cancer does not have the final say by contributing a compilation of five book reviews from various perspectives on the topic. My hope is that this will be a resource to those who are learning the grace lessons of a day-to-day struggle with cancer.

Thanks for joining me over there to read the entire post, and if you know of someone who is walking that hard path, be sure to share this month’s Redbud Post with them so they can be encouraged by the stories of others who have walked the same road.

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No Matter What Happens

Four words link the heart to the anchor of God’s steadfast love;
Four words acknowledge God’s goodness in the midst of difficulty:

No matter what happens.

Thanksgiving — no matter what happens — was the challenge facing Lauren Chandler during days in the desert, in the crucible of her husband’s cancer, riding the daily waves of parenting and ministry.  Gratitude is a current that runs through Steadfast Love,  Lauren’s lifeline to her readers.

A navigational map as well as a ship’s log, the truth of Psalm 107 fills the sails of a tale that, like the psalm, is also about worship in the desert, a chain-shattering God, the affliction that results from faithless foolishness, and finding sea legs on a storm-tossed ship.  Using Scripture to illuminate Scripture, Lauren traces the dots from Psalm 107 to passages as diverse as Israel’s wilderness wanderings, the tale of a prophet who marries a prostitute, and Jesus’ dealings with a thirsty woman, demonstrating the richness and depth, the commitment and jealous devotion of hesed, the Hebrew word for God’s steadfast love.

Another current running through Steadfast Love is the absolute necessity of community among those who believingly follow Christ.  Lauren speaks of the faithful wounds of a friend who “valued my good more than she valued her standing with me.”  She relates how a web of relationships in a community “made God tangible . . . put flesh on the unseen.”

Like the psalmist, we will find hope in the process of praising God for His continual deliverance and in remembering His response to our neediness.  “Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wondrous works to the children of man!” is the theme of this thorough study of God’s Word, and it is Lauren Chandler’s testimony — a high view of God that trusts His leading and awaits His return.

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This book was provided by B&H Publishing group in exchange for my review.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Subscribe to get regular Bible studies and book reviews from Living Our Days delivered to your inbox.  Just enter your e-mail address in the box at the top of this page.

I link-up with a number of blogging  communities on a regular basis.  They are listed in the left sidebar by day of the week.  I hope that you will enjoy reading the work of some fine writers and thinkers.