Breast Cancer #5: Keep in Step

  • Oct. 5, 2012
  • #7940

When cancer hits, life slows down. Joni experienced it, because when she was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer, she had to keep in step with the Holy Spirit. 

Hi, this is Joni Eareckson Tada with a few final words about cancer.

All this week as you know I’ve been talking about October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And I’ve had a chance to share some wondering things I learned from God's Word through my own battle against cancer. And if you were to ask me how my life changed during surgery and chemotherapy, I would tell you this: cancer definitely slows you down. I mean everything grinded to a halt when I got the diagnosis: I had to cancel appointments, cancel work, tabled traveling, had to avoid public places (I couldn’t chance catching a cold). No longer in the fast lane, I had to shift into a lower and quieter gear, a slower rhythm for my days. I have to tell you at first, I was so impatient with the quieter pace, but it was no use feeling frustrated, it was completely out of my control. When you have a disease like cancer, life is lived on slow speed—very  slow speed.

It meant I was housebound for many weeks. One particular day when I had cabin fever, a friend showed me Galatians chapter 5, verse 25 where it says, "Keep in step with the Spirit." The Holy Spirit obviously wanted me to take life in very small steps. But you know that happens to anyone who suffers. Life becomes more basic and simple, doesn’t it? On days when I wasn't certain how to fill my time, Ephesians chapter 5, verse 10 told me what to do. It says, “Find out what pleases the Lord” and do it. Just do it. So while I stayed at home recuperating from chemotherapy, I would pray in the morning, "Lord, what will please you today?" And I would hear Him whisper, “Seeing you eat 45 grams of protein before lunch Joni.” “And, Lord, what would please you this afternoon?" “Back away from your computer and enjoy my hummingbirds at your feeder.” "Okay, and Lord what would please you this evening?" “Give the Food Network a rest, Joni, and spend that time praying.” Wow!

I’m serious. This was how I kept in step with the Spirit just like Galatians chapter 5 told me to do. Keeping pace with God's Spirit really brought Ken and me closer together. Many days we would just sit in the backyard and enjoy the breeze or watch the birds. A slower pace brought me and my three sisters closer, too. At different times, my sisters flew out to California to help Ken with my routines. My sisters and I would spend evenings snuggled in bed together, watching BBC videos, or sharing the same pillow and reminiscing about childhood days back on the farm in Maryland.

Psalm chapter 46, verse 10 commands us to “Be still, and know that I am God.” Cancer may be His way of forcing you friend to quiet your heart, unburden your mind, and surrender your restless will to Him. He wants to not only be exalted among the nations; he’s heaven-bent on exalting himself in your life. Isaiah 30 puts it this way, “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.’”

You have it right there. God commands it, and that means that keeping in step with his Spirit is good for your soul, as well as good for your battle against disease. Friend, all this week I’ve been offering my new booklet I wrote called, "Breast Cancer: Life After Shock." If you are struggling with this disease, or have survived it, this booklet is for you. Or maybe you know someone who was going through cancer and you want to give them something that would inspire and encourage them. Please go to my radio page today at and ask for your copy of my booklet on breast cancer. Thanks for joining me this week for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  

© Joni and Friends


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