Down to Our Hair
Two weeks from the day I had my first infusion of chemo, my hair fell out. I had been warned, of course. But secretly I cherished the hope that my thick locks would defy the statistics, clinging to my scalp despite the red stuff dripping into my veins.
A volunteer barber at the hospital had suggested that if I shampooed less often and used a wide-toothed comb, I would keep my hair. I tried both. But when I began shedding like an unkempt dog all over my pajamas, pillows, and bathroom floor, I recognized the inevitable. I called a friend from work who suggested clipping my hair back to two inches so that going bald would be less traumatic. She came to my hospital room and began buzzing.
The snappy do lasted about two days. One morning in the shower, I watched in horror as water washed off shampoo, and clumps of hair that gathered around my feet. When I looked in the mirror, all I saw were stray wisps and a shiny scalp. I was undeniably, irrefutably bald. And there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.
Samson woke up one morning minus his hair and his strength and all sense of control. Perhaps we feel a bit like that as well when we first confront our naked scalps. We can’t trust our bodies anymore, we can’t trust our strength. We can’t even trust hair to grow on our head.
But we can trust God.
Because no matter what happens to us, God, the creator and ruler of the universe, the one who made the great creatures of the deep and flung stars all over the heavens, is in control. He controls the tides of the oceans and the wind in the trees. He controls the tiny little birds that ride the colors of dawn.
We need not be afraid of what is happening to us because God is in control.
He is so in control that, as Luke 12:7 tells us, He counts the very hairs of our head. Imagine that!
Every hair that washes down the drain the morning you go bald has God’s number on it. Every wisp that straggles upward from your scalp after treatment ends has God’s number on it.
If God cares that much about the hair on your head, you can trust that He cares for you. And nothing — not even cancer — can separate you from His loving control.
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Doubt not His grace because of thy tribulation, but believe that He loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in of happiness. ~ Charles Spurgeon
All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God stands forever. — Isaiah 40:6, Isaiah 40:8
He watches us with fatherly care, keeping all creatures under His control, so that not one of the hairs on our heads (for they are numbered) nor even a little bird can fall to the ground without the will of our Father. ~ The Belgic Confession, Article 13
The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them. ~ Bernard M. Baruch
I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess. ~ Martin Luther
Excerpted with permission from What Cancer Cannot Do: Stories of Hope and Encouragement, copyright Zondervan.
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Likely, you know someone in a right ol’ fight with breast cancer. Aside from prayer, how can you support and love on that family member, friend, or neighbor? What practical ways can you help? Maybe it’s by organizing meals during chemo, or taking the kids out for the afternoon or during doctor appointments, or hiring a house keeper, or sending encouraging notes that just say “I’m praying. I’m with you. I care.” Come join the conversation on our blog. We want to hear from you about loving people through cancer. ~ Devotionals Daily