In The Shadow of Cancer

For Those Who Struggle With Fear by Dr. Naima Johnston Bush

I must be honest, I've had a really hard time since Leslie passed away.  At only 31, she was vibrant and loving and oh so kind...

My struggle has really centered on my work, my age, my failures, my inability to have a child.  It feels like the days are passing by so quickly and with my birthday quickly approaching I am no where near where I want to be in so many areas of my life. And with 47 barreling down the pike coming at me like a Mack truck, I can't help but think, did I make the right choice all those years ago when I quit my job and began to work for the Lord? 

The news comes fast, every time I log on someone else has passed away, someone else has cancer or some other disease, people are questioning their faith, they are afraid and discouraged and overcome.  And here I am suppose to be the encourager, the one who lives a life of joy. What do you do with all these broken pieces and parts that want to pull you under.  You look those feelings straight in the eye and call them what they are. Fear has always been a enemy of mine and I find myself locking horns with it quite a bit these days.  And the only refuge I can find is in the shadow of the wings of the Almighty God. Below is a piece that I wrote years ago during one of the scariest times in my life, some of you may remember it, but in this season I think it bears repeating. Out of times of great trial a new song always comes forth... my new song hasn't come yet, but until it does I will sing the old ones and remember I serve the same God who gave me victory before and will do it again...

In The Shadow of Cancer

I’m a New Yorker – born and raised in the Bronx, my family still resides there, but for many years the Lord had me living in Ohio. On September 11, 2001, before I went into fulltime music ministry, I went to work and every person in my office was huddled around the big screen TV in the lounge. My secretary Viki gently told me what was happening, she knew that my entire family was in a four-mile radius of the Twin Towers. As I watched the towers fall I was in shock, and the fact that I couldn’t get a phone to ring on the East Coast made the moment all the more terrifying. 

My brother wound up having to walk miles and cross a huge NYC bridge to get home. My cousin was outside when the tower fell; she sustained cuts but was ok. My brother’s girlfriend at the time worked at the World Trade Center, she just happened to be late for work that morning. My mother was stranded about 15 miles from home, with a river between her and home she uttered a prayer to the Lord and a woman she met for the first time earlier that same morning in our massive apartment complex of  35 buildings,  33 floors to a building, 12 apartments to a floor, saw her standing on the side of the road and took her home. And my dad… my dad was diagnosed with Cancer. 

Some remember that right after the towers fell, Anthrax was being sent through the mail, my father worked at the post office where the anthrax was first found and had to be put on Anthrax medication as well. And even fewer people remember that several weeks after 9-11 another plane crashed in a Queens neighborhood for reasons that still have yet to be determined. That neighborhood was the one my father lived in and on the day that plane fell from the sky, my father and I were at the airport waiting for him to catch a flight home after visiting me in Ohio. 

I was petrified, 600 miles from home and my world was upside down. I remember crying and praying and asking the Lord for peace. And something my grandmother said came to me, that whenever I was afraid I should read the 91st Psalm. I got up from prayer and picked up my Bible and read:

“He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” 

The song poured out, another feeble heart cry to the Lord, letting Him know that even though I was I was afraid I’d trust Him and believe that I was under His shadow. Not under the shadow of cancer or terrorists, or sickness, or crashing planes. 

Random Life Lesson # 32, Fear is a killer of Faith. Even in the shadow of the things we most fear, God will lead us along the best pathways for our lives, He is with us, even till the end of the age! Today if there is something that you fear, remember that the Lord is with you and you can run into His arms and find peace and safety in the shadow of His wings.

I'd love to gift you with a copy of the song, In Your Shadow - Click Here To Download

Naima

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