Cancer and food … a never-ending story. There is so much information on the internet, so many theories, so many home remedies, and many contradictions. There are two main feelings I have about food since I got cancer. Sometimes, I wonder if by eating more green vegetables and by consuming less meat and sugar I would have avoided the cancer. But then I look at others and their food habits and conclude that I was not that bad myself. It is a dilemma. There is a similar struggle with other matters of Christian life.
On one side there is our obsession with performance. Is it all about praying more? Reading the Bible more? Going to church more? Do something more? Is this cancer related to my “Christian performance”? Then we go to the other side and think as the psalmist: “Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments” (Psalm 73:13-14, NIV). Those who do worse than us seem to live better lives. There are others who definitely “deserve” the things that happen to us.
Where is the “happy medium”?
There is rest in the grace of God. Of course there are some commandments to follow. Of course there is an expectation that believers will bear fruit and live according to the gospel. But our biggest problem is that we think that it’s all about what we can do. Sadly, the more “we progress” in the Lord, the Cross becomes a distant experience and our own efforts become more evident. But grace is to understand that everything comes from God, he made it all possible. We just need to start every day at that place where we remember and accept the perfect work that Christ did on our behalf. God is not waiting for the slightest provocation on our part to request we pay back. We could not pay him back. Christ paid it all. Grace looks too good to be true. Yes, it is too good and it is true. It is unquestionably divine, we didn’t do anything to deserve it because it is a gift from God.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2: 8-9, NIV).
There is security by having a proper sense of eternity. Not always we will see here on earth a direct relationship between our actions and our reward. But those who draw near to the Lord as the psalmist did in Psalm 73 get a proper sense of eternity:
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever“(Psalm 73: 25-26, NIV).
By having a sense of eternity we can rejoice in the life we already have, not in the life we would like to live. Because we know that this life is an evidence of God’s grace; because we can enjoy God here and now; and because we know that our greatest dreams and desires are guaranteed in the eternal glory that awaits us in heaven.
“Your faith and love have arisen from the hope laid up for you in heaven, which you have heard about in the message of truth, the gospel.” (Colossians 1: 5, NET)
As I have reached a “happy medium” with food and now I’m eating more green vegetables and less sugar, my soul has reached a “gospel medium” between the Lord’s grace and the hope of eternity.
All rights reserved. Rebecca Parrilla. June/2015.