Friend with cancer needs your prayers, and the hope of Christ

Updated: 2013-05-14T23:45:50Z


Tribune Media Services

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I have a friend who’s always been the upbeat, optimistic type, no matter what happened. But now she’s been diagnosed with untreatable cancer, and it’s really sent her into an emotional tailspin. What happened to all her optimism? — A.R.

DEAR A.R.: I don’t know, of course, but you might want to ask her, if she trusts you and won’t think you’re simply criticizing her. Remember the Bible’s words: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (the law to love)” (Galatians 6:2).

You’ve probably noticed that some people are just naturally sunny and optimistic (just as others tend to be naturally pessimistic and always looking on the dark side). But when an optimistic person confronts something that leaves little or no room for optimism, reality sets in and they may have a very hard time dealing with it. (To remain optimistic, however, in the midst of something as serious as your friend’s situation would be to live a lie.)

Elsewhere in your letter, you note that your friend has never been particularly religious, and this, I believe, is at the root of her turmoil. She knows that someday soon she will die — and what then? Perhaps she’s never thought about eternity, or at least has pushed it out of her mind. But death is real, and someday we all must die and stand before God.

Pray for your friend. Pray, too, that God will use you to surround her with his love — and that she will respond by giving her life to Jesus Christ. Then she can face death with joy and peace, instead of fear or depression. Jesus’ promise is true: “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25).

© Tribune Media Services 5/14

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