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Anger, Cancer, Guilt, Healing, Pain, Words of Endurance

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
EPHESIANS 4:26-27 (NLT)



Anger – normally seen as a negative emotion – is not an uncommon companion on the journey through the valley of suffering – especially not for me – it was part of my ride on the emotional roller coaster. You have heard us talk many times about how we did not suffer pretty. We experienced a full gamut of emotions on the emotional roller coaster through our valley of suffering.



For Jan, her huge struggle was with fear but for me my monumental struggle was with my anger. From the time I was young I had always had a temper. But when I accepted Christ at the age of 25, my anger seemed to subside. Life was relatively good (and easy) and I really had no struggles with my anger erupting for the next 9 years UNTIL I journeyed through the valley of suffering. It was then that this volcano started to erupt.



During that time I kept so many of my emotions that I was experiencing inside because I did not know how to handle them. As a result, I lashed out in random acts of anger that had no relationship whatsoever to what was happening around me. I got angry with Jan and the kids when they weren’t doing anything wrong. They became innocent victims of my pain – pain I did not know how to handle. Because of the emotional pain Jan and I experienced during my battle with cancer, we sought the help of a Christian counselor.



I learned through the counseling process that anger is usually a response to three different emotions: fear, frustration or hurt – all of which are a part of the journey through the valley of suffering. Facing the reality of our fear, frustration and hurt is difficult, so most of us do our best to ignore those feelings. We bury those feelings deep inside – but they don’t go away – instead they can produce anger which then can produce guilt because we feel we have sinned.



BE ENCOURAGED. Anger is actually a God-given alarm within us that lets us know that there is something deeper going on inside of us. Anger, in and of itself, is not sin – it is just a secondary emotion. But the Scripture warns, when we feel anger we need to deal with it immediately OR ELSE the anger will control us – then causing us to sin – giving a foothold to the devil.



Now I know how scary it is to acknowledge and talk about those deep emotions. It was scary for me then and it is still scary!! But as I learned how to talk about those feelings, I began to free myself from the tyranny of my anger. When I dealt with the core issues inside, I was less inclined to express anger in situations where there was no cause.



I now know when I don’t deal with the core issues; my anger will build inside and eventually cause pain for the people I love the most.



Most people view anger as the number one negative emotion. However, anger is a God-given emotion that, when understood and used as God intended, has tremendous potential for good.
GARY J. OLIVER, PH.D.



On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky

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Cancer, Dealing With Doubt, Doubt, Healing, Love, Peace, Trust, Words of Endurance

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;
blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
JOHN 20:29



When dealing with a season of doubt, I am always encouraged and inspired by the faith exhibited by others -especially those who believed and had not seen.



First consider the famous “Hall of Faith” listed in Chapter 11 of Hebrews. The list includes such “Greats” as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses. All who exhibited great faith in the midst of much tribulation and what is even more amazing to me is that …



All these people were still living by faith when they died.
They did not receive the things promised;
they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance,
HEBREWS 11:13



Then there is Stephen, “… a man full of God’s grace and power …” (ACTS 6:8) who as he was about to be stoned he …



… looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God,
and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
“Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man
standing at the right hand of God.”
ACTS 7:55-56



Wow! To have that kind of faith, strength and trust while facing imminent death- I truly cannot fathom!



But nothing inspires my faith more than when I have the privilege to witness the faith of the people we meet through our ministry, Endurance. Our ministry is to bring comfort, encouragement and hope to all we meet but inevitably we are the ones who end up encouraged the most. One such person who has blessed us is Mary Schiltz.



Mary lost her battle with ovarian cancer this past weekend. I have followed Mary’s journey ever since she walked through our ministry door over two years ago when she was inquiring about encouraging resources for others in her church who were battling cancer. Mary was one of the most awesome people I have ever met. She has been an inspiration to me and to so many others just by the way she lived her life and fought to beat her cancer. Her love for the Lord, her family, friends and church family was something to behold.



This past summer, when she felt she might not beat her cancer she asked me “Jan, how do I do this? I don’t know how.” I did not know how to answer her but I can honestly tell you for someone who did not know how to walk through her final days on this earth, Mary did it with grace, love, humor and great faith.



Like the “Greats” listed in the “Hall of Faith” Mary did not receive her promise for healing on this side of eternity but like the “Greats” and Stephen, Mary’s eyes were fixed on the eternal and her faith has brought her into the eternal presence of her Heavenly Father.



Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory
that far outweighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen,
since what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:16-18



On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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