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You Are More Than Your Cancer

Today’s Reflection

YOU ARE MORE than your cancer. It is only part of who you are.

As we consider this point, we find comfort in the Scripture passage: Isaiah 61:1. You may recognize this first part – “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” These were the words Jesus read in the synagogue as he began his ministry. As he continued his reading he might have been speaking to cancer patients.

To comfort all who mourn and provide for those who mourn in Zion.
To give them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called Oaks of Righteousness, the planting of the LORD to display his splendor. (Isaiah 61:2b-4)

Consider this phrase: “Oaks of Righteousness.” Through this cancer experience we are called to be oaks! Our faith gives us symbols on which to lean. Let your mind rest in the metaphor of an oak tree.

Oak wood is hard, tough, and durable. Two important English legendary figures are associated with the oak – King Arthur, who gathered his knights around an oak round table, and Robin Hood, who lived among the oak trees of Sherwood Forest. These figures embody two sides of oak lore – caring, paternal qualities and the ability to fight ruthlessly when justice demanded it. Both of these qualities can help us in our battle with cancer.

– Judy Gattis Smith
Fear Not: Learning from Your Cancer

From pages 20-21 of Fear Not: Learning from Your Cancer by Judy Gattis Smith. Copyright © 2008 Discipleship Resources. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Discipleship Resources. “http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray for someone dealing with illness. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Luke 4:18-19, NRSV

This Week: pray for world leaders. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Thomas Aquinas (January 28).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2016 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 9 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller January 24, 2016, 4:17 am

    I pray for Warren. He’s had quite a few bouts with pneumonia, just home from the hospital. At 89 he needs to learn to eat a different way to prevent pneumonia. Thankfully Anneliese will see a doctor on Monday and hopefully he will be the doctor for her hip replacement surgery. Thankful the medication to counter inflammation is helping.

    Thankful for the ecumenical breakfast yesterday, fellowship, all were fed, we sent food to help others, raised money to help people locally, worshipped, and prayed for Christian unity.

    Thankful for many pictures from my daughter of Willa and Oona. Thankful for plans to visit my son next weekend to ski.

    Prayers for everyone affected by the big snowstorm and coastal flooding, people have died because of the storm, damage will be great. Recovery will take time.

    Thankful for church leaders of every kind who help us on our spiritual journey.

    Church today, I pray for uplifting, renewal, and encouragement. The Lord be with you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen

  • Jill January 24, 2016, 4:55 am

    Father – I lift those struggling with illness that are a part of the family here. I lift Andrea – and her struggles with this skin issue. Might there be a doctor soon who can help properly diagnose and treat this concern. For Annaliese and her pending hip surgery. Father – thank You for the advancements in procedures. Yet – this one will still involve significant recovery. Grant Robert the strength to walk through this with her, ever so patiently. Thank You for being so near to Carol as she attends to her uncle in hospice. Father – the hearts of hospice caregivers are so precious. Thank You for gifting people with this desire to comfort and serve. Father – Great Healer – may each of us accept what comes from Your Hand – and draw nearer to You through the mountain tops and the valleys of life.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 24, 2016, 5:39 am

    Father God, thank you for good health. May you be so close to those who are sick. May you increase their faith and restore their health. Be with the caregivers as they look after the sick. Grant them strength and a servant’s heart, the ability to endure without complaining. Bless them with time to rest and recharge. May your grace and mercy be upon the sick as well as the care givers. Thank you for hearing our prayers.

  • Betsy January 24, 2016, 7:20 am

    Lord, I pray today fo Ruth, who is suffering with pancreatic cancer. Comfort her and surround her with your love. Equip her family with strength as they act as caregivers. Be with all here who give themselves to caring for others. Help us to be like the mighty oak. Amen

  • Sara January 24, 2016, 8:41 am

    Thankful the snow storm has passed!! The sun is shining. Most church services are cancelled today due to everyone still clearing roads, driveways, etc. We got our snowfall for the winter with one storm. I pray for those who were hit harder than us and those without power.

    Prayers for those struggling with cancer – I have a dear friend of many years who is battling a chronic form of leukemia. Bless her Lord as she continues with her disciplined lifestyle and continues to enjoy life. My dear breakfast friend, 87 years young, will have her thyroid removed February 1. I ask you Lord to calm her and comfort her because she’s worried about the surgery. Robert, continued prayers for Anneliese as she prepares for her hip surgery. Lord, prayers for others who are struggling with cancer and cancer treatment.

    Blessings today for the UR family and the concerns that are posted. Thank you Lord that You are our constant help and strength in our time of need and in our praise time also. Amen

  • Andrea January 24, 2016, 11:10 am

    Thank you for your prayers, Jill and Sara. I pray for all who facing cancer, for their courage, confort and support; and wise and effective medical care for them. The oak tree is a beautiful metaphor, sturdy through all seasons, with wide embracing branches. May we all be like the oak in the challenges of our own lives and in our care for others. With prayers for, and wishing God’s blessings on all who visit UR and those you name here.

  • Pam January 24, 2016, 11:51 am


  • Andrea January 24, 2016, 9:09 pm

    I pray for Karen, who I havee learned is quite sick and at times in pain with the return of cancer. May she feel Your healing presence.

  • Emma dale January 25, 2016, 9:30 am

    Asking prayer for my mother she has not had lots of elements including dialysis and heart problems praying for peace and strength for her as well as myself and anybody else is going through this situation in Jesus name

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