Natasha Crain wrote a great article last year on what an apologist does when they believe they have cancer. Little did I know at the time that 6 months later, I would get the news: Stage 2 colon cancer.
I’ve tossed back and forth about writing this, but I felt two points I wanted to make were worth writing about.
Surrendering to Death
The Christian worldview is that those who are in Christ – that is, those who have repented (GR metanoeó) and put their trust in Christ, are forgiven of their crimes against a holy God, are made into new creatures and will be bodily resurrected on the last day. So why on earth should a Christian feel fear at the news they have Cancer?
I realized that I wasn’t afraid to die per se, but rather of dying itself. The idea that this life was over. I had thoughts about my wife, my daughter, my family, and friends. But I hadn’t ever resided myself to the fact of dying. I had to be Ok with dying. Ok with my daughter growing up without her father, my wife being a widow. Ok with never accomplishing some goals. I knew I would be with my God in all of His glory, but it was at this point that I understood what it meant to let go of this world.
So just how has the study of apologetics helped in dealing with my cancer diagnosis? Before I knew what state it was and what we were looking at, I had to trust Christ no matter the news. This was much easier to do based on what I knew about the truth of the Gospels. Every argument for Christianity you can think of did not come to mind, but rather this thought “either I trust Him, or I don’t.” If I didn’t, time to get busy being an atheist. If I did, time to get busy trusting and not worrying. The evidence for Christianity acts like a seawall. You see the waves of doubt, anger, sadness, and death coming for you. But the evidence reminds you of the truth, and you put your trust in Christ. Faith is not merely an intellectual assent, but rather an active trust. But the information that led you to that faith is a solid foundation.
As it turns out, the LORD has other plans for me at this time. The surgery I had removed all of the cancer. There was no spread to lymph nodes. I have to do a 6-month round of chemo, but this is for preventative measures, and it’s an oral pill. This has also made me begin to live healthier. In fact, I’ve started training in Gracie (Brazilian) Jiu-Jitsu. I’m also heading to Scotland in the fall for a missionary support trip.
But I have confidence in the LORD that if all had fallen apart, He would have remained the same God and I would have been able to trust Him still.
Robby Hall is in the Secure Access industry for Information Technology. He has been married for 3 years and has just welcomed his first child, Bridget. He is graduate of the Cross Examined Instructor’s Academy and leads apologetics small groups at his local church.
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