«For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory» (2 Corinthians 4:17).
In the summer of 2017, Colleen Chao discovered that she had a lump in her breast. Ironically that summer she had begun to feel good after a long time. She could sleep well, she had energy (despite a chronic illness), and her son’s health had improved significantly. For the first time in a long time, she and her husband looked at each other and, with a sigh of relief, said, «We are no longer in crisis!» But then the lump appeared and with it, a series of clinical checkups. Some days, Colleen felt a supernatural peace that enveloped her; on others, she felt anxiety and fear. «Lord, do not make me walk this path,» she prayed in the cloudy days of uncertainty.
Eventually, the phone rang, and the dreaded diagnosis was confirmed. Despite everything, Colleen did not lose faith. «During the fourteen weeks I had to wait to receive my diagnosis, God prepared my heart. He told me that no matter what happened he would turn it into a gift,» she told me in a phone interview. «I’m very grateful. Through the years and sufferings, God pried my numb fingers from the treasures of this world. This experience freed me, even from the weight of what others think of me. Faced with my mortality, I gained perspective and incredible ease (which I didn’t have before) to talk about Christ. I also received unexplainable joy in the midst of all this.»
Colleen believes that God does not waste our pain, but transforms it into an avenue to bless us. «Chemotherapy was tough. However, there is something amazing that in those dark moments when you simply say, ‘Help me!’ Then you feel His presence which is so tender and real. Giving in is difficult, but it’s also very sweet.» At conclusion of our conversation, Colleen shared one last thought with me: «God is with us. In the fiery furnace. In cancer. In your darkest problems . . . He is a good God who gives gifts with a weight of glory.»
Dear Lord, I thank You because You can bless me through any circumstance. You take the problems the enemy wanted to use to destroy me and you use them for my good. With You by my side, who can stand against me?