“Sickness is a difficult thing. Cancer is never a welcome opponent nor should it be. Cancer is an enemy and it should always be an enemy. And as far as God is concerned, it’s an enemy from His perspective as well. But there is one positive thing to say about illness – it has a way of bringing Jesus into our homes. Not only do we battle illness but He comes into our homes in an powerful and amazing way in seasons of sickness. Our faith in God is an important part of the healing process,” said Rev. Shep Johnson at Tuesday night’s tree lighting ceremony at the Coffee County Courthouse sponsored by the Childhood Cancer Awareness Group of Coffee County.
The ceremony is an annual event held each November that honors children in the community who are battling cancer and remembers those whose lives have been taken by cancer. Children and families place butterflies on the tree – blue for children currently undergoing treatment, silver for cancer survivors, and white for those who have passed.
Rev. Johnson served as the event’s speaker. His remarks came from Mark 5, the story of Jesus bringing Jairus’s 12-year-old daughter back to life. Rev. Johnson mentioned three lessons that can be learned from this story:
Jesus had a wonderful love for children. He always made time for children and He cares deeply for them.
Jesus has an amazing power to heal our children. He often works through doctors and nurses. But He also works sometimes in amazing ways.
Jesus teaching us that saving faith is very much like the faith of children. Faith plays a powerful role in the healing process. If we’re to believe in the way God honors that belief, we should believe like little children do. Little children have the most perfect and pure faith of all.
As Rev. Johnson concluded his remarks, he mentioned Romans 12:12: “Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing in constant prayer.” He stated: Be patient in trouble. Every storm sooner or later will pass. We simply have to be patient. But when you’re dealing with childhood cancer, those storms can be long and they can be difficult and they can be overwhelming. But Jesus will take care of us and the ones we love. And keep on praying, not to give up or quit, for Jesus will see us through.”
The ceremony, which also featured prayer and special music, closed with the lighting of the tree. The tree will remain at the courthouse through the Christmas season.
David Rodriguez contributed to this story.