Victory!

On Sunday, November 22, 2020, Dave had his final proton beam treatment for prostate cancer. The doctor assured him he was leaving the Center prostate cancer free, and on his way out the door for his last time, he rang the Victory Bell to signal his recovery. Because we can’t see it with our eyes, have faith in the words of the expert that there is no more cancer. Praise be to God!

What can’t you see? What is happening in your life that requires you to exercise your faith? We believe by faith the words of a doctor who is an expert in his field even though our eyes can’t see it, so what is keeping us from trusting in the Sovereign God, the ultimate expert? If God says it will be, then it will be. If God tells us to keep trusting, even though the road ahead is pitch black, we can believe Him to keep us in the middle of that road.

We don’t know God’s timetable for the answers to our challenges, but we know God; by faith, we must move forward. 

Life disappoints, people disappoint, our worlds might suffer hit after hit. No fun. At. All. It’s okay to cry for the disappointments and mourn the losses. Jesus cried. Just remember to surround your life and your prayers with faith. Dry your eyes, move forward, and show the world what trusting in a faithful God looks like.

 

Thought for the Day

Maybe you had this idea that you were going to show the world how to raise the perfect family, have the perfect life, live a blissful Christian existence. Then real life got involved, and many of your dreams went south. Blow after blow knocked you in the teeth, leaving you reeling in shock that things didn’t work out the way they “should” have because you are a Christian.

Maybe God had a different idea.

Maybe God’s plan is to show the world how He raises HIS children to respond to the blows of life.

Want to be a witness to the goodness of God? Stand firm in your faith, NO MATTER WHAT. Life isn’t “fair,” but God is ever present, no matter the storm. And the world needs to see that.

Every Christian Has a Story to Tell

At the bottom of a devotional from Our Daily Bread, I came across a interesting tidbit of information about influencing our particular audience, and it caused me to consider who it is I am trying reach with my story of Jesus. Of course, I’d like to reach everybody. I guess social media is a good platform for that sort of thing. But I also have a specific audience I’d like to reach with my personal life story. I began working on that story several months ago, and I was encouraged by this message to keep moving forward in that pursuit.

I’m not an expert, but I do have a story to tell that might help folks who were hurt by their past. Mine is not going to be tell-all type of story; instead, it’s going to be a witness to the sovereignty and protection of God through some pretty tumultuous years and how God was always with me–He never left my side–even when I didn’t know much at all about Him. 

What is your story? How might it benefit the world around you?

God gave us our stories so that we could share them as a witness to His goodness.

We should tell them.

From today’s devotion at Our Daily Bread:
“SCRIPTURE INSIGHT – Each of the gospel writers, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, had a definite plan for how to tell the story of Jesus. Each had a different audience and wanted to reach that audience in the most accessible way (emphasis mine). In writing to a primarily Jewish audience, Matthew builds his witness around five major teaching blocks, beginning with the Sermon on the Mount (chs. 5-7) and ending with the Olivet Discourse (chs. 24-25), with three others in between (chs. 10, 13, 18). Some scholars suggest this would have resonated with a Jewish audience because the five discourses of Jesus would parallel the five books of Moses (Torah) and the five sections into which the psalms are divided. Additionally, Matthew relies heavily on the Old Testament Scriptures, quoting them around fifty times and alluding to them another seventy-five times.” -Bill Crowder (this devotion was printed at www.odb.org)

Final Thoughts on Cancer–Maybe (The Cancer Journals)

I’ve shared about Dave’s cancer a couple of times now, but I have some leftover thoughts I’d like to purge. Writing them down seems to be the best way to do that.

When Dave was first diagnosed with cancer, I must be honest and say that I didn’t handle it well at all. Having watched my mother and my brother both die from cancer, the mental pictures that filled my thoughts and devoured hours on end were just terrifying. My insides felt like jelly, and I couldn’t think of much else but the fact that my husband, the man I love forever, had cancer.

According to his doctor, he had two different cancers in his prostate. One was the kind that many men contract and which doctors just watch for years, because of its slow growth–the kind of cancer doctors say men might die with but they won’t die from. The second kind of cancer was labelled aggressive and lethal. You can understand why that would cause anxiety, right? Aggressive. Lethal. Those words beat like a constant drum in my mind. And the pace at which we were going about finding the right treatment to get rid of that cancer seemed to move as slowly as molasses.

I always thought I was strong. I always thought I could handle anything that came my way, that I’d be the bastion of non-wavering faith when the “big” challenge struck. I was none of those things. I was weak, scared, and felt as if my liquid insides wouldn’t hold the weight of me if I stood for long. I couldn’t sleep; and every time I did stand from my chair, I found the kitchen, and whatever was edible, I ate it. Pathetic.

But God.

It didn’t happen immediately, but it did happen. God sent friends to me, reminding me that God was totally in control. And they didn’t stop reminding me. I’m thankful for their constancy, because it eventually registered in my muddled brain and shook me awake from my stupor. Family and friends prayed for us, faithful folks that kept us in their minds constantly. We received cards, phone calls, texts, and emails full of concern and promise. And ALL of them shared the same message: “God was not surprised by this; God is in control; God loves you; God will be your strength.”

And He was. He is.

Dear friends and family, thank you for reminding us that we are not alone. Thank you for bearing me up in my weakness and trusting that I’d eventually recover my senses. Thank you for not being disappointed by my first responses.

I momentarily lost my direction and acted as one without faith. BUT—with the word of God being my lifeline each morning, His promises shining through the letters written by men with human frailties, and through the unwavering love and support of God’s people I don’t feel so “liquid” inside anymore.  

Having experienced a bit of a setback in his treatments, Dave is currently in a holding pattern. Hackers, it appears, have struck at the medical world and taken computer systems hostage across the nation. This has put Dave’s treatments on hold, and whereas he should have completed 13 treatments to this date, he has completed only ten. But God. God is in control. He is in every moment of every day. He knows that not only Dave, but thousands of folks are not receiving the care they need. He isn’t surprised, and one day He will take care of the evil in this world. Until He does that, I cling to this: “I will lift my eyes to the mountains; where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.” (Psalm 121:1-3)

I am not strong. But God is.