by Lynn Eib
The battle is the LORD’s…1 Samuel 17:47 NIV
I consider myself a strong person. But back in 1990, at the age of 36, facing cancer and the fact that dying was a greater possibility than surviving was simply more than I could face.
Worrying about whether my three precious little girls would have to grow up without a mother was way more than I could bear. And fearing that my sweet husband would bury another wife was absolutely more than I could endure.
“This is more than I can handle,” I remember telling God one day…trying not to sound too whiny.
“I know,” He whispered to my heart. “But it’s not too much for Me.”
That was one of the most freeing things I learned through my cancer journey. It was all right that I sometimes had more than I could handle. I didn’t have to reach down inside myself and muster up some super strength. God would supernaturally supply it to me as I trusted in Him.
What a relief!
Even if my own resources were exhausted, God’s would never be.
My strength might be sapped, but He could still move mountains.
Everything could be changing around me, but He always would be my Rock.
During those first early dark-days-after-cancer, I often thought of the shepherd boy David as he went into battle against the giant Goliath. Do you know what his battle cry was? He wasn’t like The Little Engine That Could, chugging along and repeating “I think I can, I think I can.”
No, I believe he was thinking, “I know I can’t, I know I can’t.” After all, he was the youngest and smallest boy in his family and Goliath was more than nine feet tall. But David was at peace, because his battle cry was, “I know God can, I know God can.” If you read 1 Samuel 17:47 you’ll hear his exact words: “the battle is the LORD’s.”
That phrase became the catalyst for my prayers as I awoke on post-diagnosis mornings.
“I feel like a little shepherd with a slingshot facing a giant named Cancer, and it is more than I can handle,” I told the Lord. “But I am so glad it is not more than You can handle. The battle belongs to You, Lord. Fight for me and through me. Do what I cannot do on my own.”
And He did.
I love how the Apostle Paul describes a time in his life when he, too, was faced with more than he could handle: “We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely on God, who raises the dead.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-9.
What a powerful message: You find strength and hope—and yes, peace—when, like Paul and David, you stop relying on yourself and learn to rely on God. Your struggles and setbacks, your disappointments and dilemmas, your fears and your failures are never too much for Him to handle. The battle is the Lord’s and He will win it for you.
About the author: Lynn Eib is a long-time cancer survivor, a patient advocate, and an award-winning journalist. She has six titles with Tyndale House Publishing, including When God & Cancer Meet with 100,000+ copies sold. Her website www.lynneib.com provides a bi-weekly blog of encouragement; tips for founding, facilitating and finding faith-based support groups; and free resources for cancer patient and their caregivers.
In Lynn’s beautiful, giftable book, Peace in the Face of Cancer, she shares how to live well from the moment of diagnosis through the rest of life. You’ll discover how to bring God’s peace into your own home and heart―regardless of your or your loved one’s medical prognosis.
Join the conversation: What battles has the Lord fought for you?