OK, so I get it that losing your hair is not that big a deal in the face of fighting a serious illness like breast cancer. But now that I’ve had my first two chemotherapy treatments last week and this week, I can’t help thinking about my hair. I have already talked (and probably whined) to my Heavenly Father about it, and He listened. I am not sure I heard an answer other than “Trust Me.” And I do.
But I keep wondering and hoping… I would really like to keep my hair. But I wonder if God cares about my hair. I don’t know. Maybe I am making too much of it… After all if my hair falls out, it will grow back. And yet, I see evidence in the Scriptures that the hair on the heads of His children gets a fair amount of ink. Consider the following:
- The three friends of Daniel the prophet, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were thrown into the fiery furnace because they refused to worship the golden image set up by the king of Babylon. But in spite of the intense heat and fire, these three men were unharmed. In Daniel 3:27 we read, “the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them.” The fire was so hot that it killed the men who threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the furnace, but it did not even singe the hair on the heads of these who trusted God completely!
- When Jesus was encouraging His disciples not to be afraid, but to confess His Name boldly in the face of opposition, He said this to them in Matthew 10:30, “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” So even though they would face intense persecution, and even though we know followers of Jesus were and still are martyred for their faith, the assurance He gave them is that the hair of their heads are all numbered by the Father.
- When the apostle Paul was en route to Rome, the ship on which he was a passenger was about to run aground. But an angel of God assured Paul that the lives of everyone on the ship with him would be spared. So in Acts 27:34 we read that Paul said to the sailors, “Therefore I encourage you to take some food, for this is for your preservation, for not a hair from the head of any of you will perish.”
- In 1 Corinthians 11:15 Paul writes, “but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her… For her hair is given to her for a covering.”
So I have been thinking about these verses and my hair for several weeks now, and I am still pondering them. Maybe I am overthinking it here? Probably so… So I am going to share some of my thoughts and determine to move on:
- if hair is not very important, why does it keep getting mentioned in Scripture?
- Hair seems to be a metaphor for God’s watch care over us.
- To say “not a hair of your heads will perish” or “nor was the hair of their heads singed” is to say they were completely unharmed.
- However, we know Jesus didn’t promise we would never go through difficulties. In fact He promised quite the opposite, telling us we should expect life to be tough. Yet I think what He is saying in Matthew 10:30 is that even when we pass through the difficulties, the Father cares for us so deeply and so tenderly that He is aware of it all, even to the point of knowing how many hairs are on our heads. He is watching over and caring for us in the smallest details in our trials. Perhaps this is the MOST important thing I should hold onto.
- If I know that He is intimately aware of all I am enduring, I can say with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego,”our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” So hair or no hair, I will worship Him and trust Him through it all. Whatever happens does not change who He is and how much He loves me.
- As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:15, as a woman my long hair is a glory to me. It is a gift from God that I have been enjoying. But if my long hair is a glory to me, my life in its entirety – body, soul and spirit – is to be a glory to God. I may not understand His ways in any of this journey through cancer, but I commit it all – hair or no hair – to the glory of God!
- This anthem from Romans 11 says what is in my heart after pondering all these questions: “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. ” (Romans 11:33-36)