Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Testimony of Healing, Grace & Joy in the Face of Cancer


Physical strength is measured by what we can carry; spiritual by what we can bear.

Diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin's Disease in January of 2004, listen to Sylvia Burger share her testimony of healing, grace and joy in the midst of great adversity.

This video clip was shown at newhope church Sunday, April 10, 2005 as part of the "It's a Mad, Sad World BUT..." sermon by Pastor Benji Kelley.

As we know, Peter Jennings, the chief ABC News anchorman for more than 20 years, announced his diagnosis recently of lung cancer.

Jennings sent an e-mail to his staff saying:

Dear All -

Forgive me the group mailing -- but it seems the easiest way to tell a lot of people I care for ... about a change in my life.

I have been diagnosed with lung cancer. Yes, it was quite a surprise.

As you all know, this is a challenge. I begin chemotherapy next week. I will continue to do the broadcast. There will be good days and bad, which means that some days I may be cranky and some days really cranky! Almost 10 million Americans are living with cancer. I am sure I will learn from them how to cope with the facts of life that none of us anticipated. In all the years I have worked here I have had the most outstanding support from this news division.

Hundreds of you have been like family. It feels good to have such a family right now.


I was struck by what Peter Jennings said at the end - "It feels good to have such a family right now." I think of the church family - when we are surrounded because of a common bond that we share as fellow believers. It's because of who we are in Jesus Christ - Christians, Christ followers - bonded by faith and the integrity of God's Word to encourage, pray for and walk out whatever life throws at each of us with others of like faith.

Thomas Moore insightfully wrote, "Family life is full of major and minor crises -- the ups and downs of health, success and failure in career, marriage, and divorce -- and all kinds of characters. It is tied to places and events and histories. With all of these felt details, life etches itself into memory and personality. It's difficult to imagine anything more nourishing to the soul."

After the church service was over, I had a chance to talk with Sylvia - I found her to be full of life, vibrant and deeply thankful. In our conversation, she never expressed a hint of regret or that life dealt her a bad hand at such a young age of 24. As the 4Him song goes, if the Bible was still being written today, I think Sylvia's name would be tied to the passage - "Be strong and courageous."

Jesus said, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Sylvia, you’re an inspiration to all Christians.

Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith.

1 comment:

Jemz said...

Dear friend in Christ,

Sylvia is in need of prayer warriors...She is in need of prayer, period.

posted two days after Christmas