Summary: The Big C will conquer the small c. This was what my wife said about cancer that she contracted several years ago. This is true today about Corona Virus. However , we have some listening to do on what God is telling us through the small c's.
Cancer, Corona and Christ
I am going to start today’s message asking you to make a difficult choice. I am going to show two pictures from our family album and ask you to choose your favourite one. Both are happy pictures and hence I have titled one of them as “A Happy Picture” and the other one as “Another Happy Picture”. Please vote for your favourite picture, online, based on the instructions.
Our three year old Foster Grand Daughter, Arvi, refuses to accept that the second photograph (Another Happy Picture) is ours. She says it is some other uncle and aunty. She does not want to accept the fact we could have been in this condition. But I am going to tell you the story behind that picture. I do have a story behind the first picture too (A Happy Picture), but I will tell that story another time.
It was 29th of October 2014. Leslie and I went through several mixed reactions when the biopsy report confirmed that Leslie had cancer. We needed to get several things planned as soon as possible. There was additional tests to be done, there was oncologists to be finalised, surgeons to be identified, treatment schedule to be finalised etc etc. More than anything else, we needed to strengthen ourselves to handle the emotional pressure that this put both of us in. And to top it all, I was scheduled to travel on the 31st of October, to Chennai to be the resource person for a three day retreat of the Methodist Youth Fellowship from Indira Nagar Methodist Church, Bangalore. The retreat was planned at a resort near Mahabalipuram. My first reaction was to call the organisers and inform them that I cannot make it. The organisers were heartbroken, because they had no plan B, and the retreat would have been a wash out if I did not join them. And they had incurred significant amount of expenses towards the same. But for me the first priority was to get the treatment plan for Leslie finalised, and hence I made up my mind to not go and let the organisers manage the crisis that they have at hand. When Leslie heard about this, she asked me to change my decision. When Leslie asks me to do something I always listen, you know that.. But jokes aside , this time her argument was solid and I could not find any counter arguments for that. I quote her. “A few days are not going to matter in the beginning of the treatment. I know that the “Big C will ultimately conquer the small c”. I am sure that all of you know that the Big C she referred to was Christ. That was a convincing argument, and bottom-line I went for the retreat, returned, made the treatment plans, went through whole cycle of the surgery , the chemotherapy, the radiotherapy and all the associated problems. The second picture you saw (Another Happy Picture) is from the Chemotherapy period.
Let me repeat Leslie’s statement. “The Big C will conquer the small c”. And she held on to that belief throughout the treatment period. Several people have told me that they never met such a cheerful Cancer patient. Actually several of my friends pulled my leg saying that I looked more like a patient during those periods than she did. She went in to the operation theater singing hymns, came out of the operation theater singing hymns, and endured the painful side effects of the Chemotherapy. What kept her going was her belief that “the Big C will conquer the small c”. And at the end of it all she confidently could say that the “Big C indeed did conquer the small c”. Praise be to God.
I think about this and ask myself. Can we say the same thing about the current c, the corona virus? Do we believe that it is indeed a small c compared to the Big C, that is Christ? Will Christ conquer the Corona Virus? If so why has He not done it yet? Why is it still raging? Why are believers being infected with it along with unbelievers? Why are even Christian Doctors get infected with the virus and even die? You all heard about the most recent incident of a Christian Doctor who died of COVID and the troubles that took place regarding his burial. Why does such things happen? The bottom-line question is, where is Christ in this situation?
We may not have answers to all the questions here. But we do have a definite affirmative answer to one question. Is Christ in control of the situation?. Absolutely. Because our God has absolute sovereignty over everything. I repeat everything. Job Learned it the hard way. Job 42:2 (NKJV) 2 "I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. Paul confirms this Ephesians 1:11 (NKJV) 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will. It is all things, not somethings, it is according to His will, not according to anyone else’s will. So the question whether God is in control of the Corona Virus is purely rhetorical. Bible tells us that He governs wind (Luke 8:25), lightning (Job 36:32), snow (Ps. 147:16), frogs (Ex. 8:1–15), gnats (Ex. 8:16–19), flies (Ex. 8:20–32), locusts (Ex. 10:1–20), quail (Ex. 16:6–8), worms (Jonah 4:7), fish (Jonah 2:10), sparrows (Matt. 10:29), grass (Ps. 147:8), plants (Jonah 4:6), famine (Ps. 105:16), the sun (Josh. 10:12–13), prison doors (Acts 5:19), blindness (Ex. 4:11; Luke 18:42), deafness (Ex. 4:11; Mark 7:37), paralysis (Luke 5:24–25), fever (Matt. 8:15), every disease (Matt. 4:23), travel plans (James 4:13–15), the hearts of kings (Prov. 21:1; Dan. 2:21), nations (Ps. 33:10), murderers (Acts 4:27–28), spiritual deadness (Eph. 2:4–5), donkeys, waves, the list can go on and on. He governs all , and all of them do his sovereign will.