Immanuel- God with Us

Luke 2:13-14
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, (14) “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

He is with us. He came to live among us, and left His Holy Spirit as our counselor, who gives us wisdom and understanding. These are things I need.

I’m about to get pretty deep and possibly confusing. But I’ve been wrestling with this for weeks and feel like getting it out there. I feel that God is asking me to be a “willing” sacrifice for Him. The point of Jesus coming and dying for us was so He would be the sacrificial lamb, and He doesn’t require sacrifices now (Hebrews 10:5), so it’s a little unexpected. I’m thinking of it as not being required, just requested. Of course, anything He requests I will do my best to perform. I feel like He’s telling me this is an issue of getting my heart right. Not that I would try to die or stop trying to live, but I suppose more of a willingness to go through this no matter what the cost.

Obviously, I don’t have a choice in whether I die from this disease, so I feel like I’m currently trudging along to the grave, hoping to get pulled out alive. And now I’m supposed to keep walking that way because He wants me to, or sort of because I want to do it for Him. Not because I have to.

I want to want to please God. If I knew this experience would result in my healing–that I would live on earth and raise my girls–I would joyfully and willingly go through a short cancer/chemo trial for His purposes. But not knowing the exact purpose, and not knowing if I will live or die from it makes it really hard to do this joyously. I hate that my willingness to please God is still dependent on “if’s” and “buts”, and I guess that’s the evidence that my heart is wrong in the first place.

If I didn’t have kids I’d die if that meant someone would turn to Christ and spend eternity in heaven. But what if the whole reason behind this cancer stuff is just to get some stranger to know more about Christ, and then they still reject Him? Do I want my children to grow up without their mom for a stranger’s missed opportunity? Nope. I just don’t. I’m trying though.

It all looks like a non-issue on the surface, because I cannot control when I will die. God does that, and He controls or allows every issue on earth, whether it’s my advanced cancer or someone else’s stubbed toe. Below the surface, though, is a matter of the heart that I need to resolve. This is the anniversary of Jesus’ birth, and He struggled with the same thing when He asked God to take the cup from Him. It was much harder in that case, because Jesus had the power to actually stop what was going on, and couldn’t demonstrate it. Mine is a perceived control issue but I actually have no say in it.

In the end, I trust God. I just need to put on my happy pants and push away the “if’s” and “but’s”. He has an awesome plan and I am still honored to be a part of it. I just wish it didn’t make me feel so nauseated!

Ecc 3:11b-14 He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

Romans 12:1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

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