Surviving

I just saw someone who is dying of cancer. I don’t know how much longer she has. I do know she’s worn out from fighting, trying, and just surviving. I know she might be content with death at this point, but would probably prefer to be completely healed and have many more healthy, painfree years with her children. I know the longer we fight this disease the less we expect to overcome it. And I know that the longer people see us fighting it, the less it matters to them. The less they pray for miracles and expect them to occur. The more they accept that it’s our time to go. And most of all, I know: That Sucks.

These people who struggle for years deserve peace, health, and happiness as much as you do. As much (or as little) as I did. I didn’t deserve to be supernaturally healed, I was just chosen for that path. These other people who are still sick could be chosen too. What would happen if God chose them to be healed too, but no one bothered to pray and believe they would be? We fail to pray for miracles when we don’t believe they will happen. We profess to believe in Christ but we don’t believe He will answer our prayers. So why do we bother praying for anything at all? Some of us are willing to pray that He will bless our finances but not that someone will walk away from her deathbed. We basically are willing to ask for help with things that we could just about do ourselves, but we don’t trust in Him to do things we obviously can’t control. Instead we believe the lies of the enemy, that there is no hope. What an insult to the Creator of the world that we would pick and choose what to believe He will do! That’s not faith in Him, it’s faith in ourselves. And none of us is worthy to make such big decisions.
Once a man named Jairus went to see Jesus. He begged Jesus to heal his dying daughter. The girl ended up dying for a bit and Jesus told Jairus, “Do not be afraid; just believe.” Then He healed the little girl. Back from the dead. He healed her because Jairus asked and believed Jesus would heal his daughter. The daughter was already dead, she certainly wasn’t expecting to be healed. (Mark 5:21-37). Was that girl more special to Jesus than our friends who have cancer today? No. 
It’s hard but necessary to believe in miracles. To expect them. To respond to the opportunity to pray for such miracles as a blessing, not a chore. I’m not sure exactly why it’s so hard or scary, but it is. When I was on my way to see this friend with cancer today I was humbled by the reminder that I haven’t been expecting to hear the great news of her miraculous recovery. I thought I should run up to her and boldly tell her I knew she would be healed. That despite all evidence to the contrary, it was going to happen. Maybe I would pray with her right then…
Instead do you know what I did? I said “hi”, “bye”, and ran off, telling myself I needed to pray more about it before I could really announce that I believed in her healing. You know why? Because it’s hard and scary to look at someone who is close to death and tell her she will live after all. Even though that is exactly what I was wishing for when I was so sick. Because even after receiving my own miracle I don’t expect to see others. Because she doesn’t give the impression of someone who is about to receive one. Oh, right, and because I am a hypocritical jerk. 
This is hard stuff, but am supremely blessed in that I have another day to try again. To try to believe that my mustard seed of faith allows me to say to a mountain, “Move from here to there” and it will move (Mtw 17:20). We will rejoice together at the amazing things He will do. And eventually every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil 2:10)
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One Answer

I always knew God had big reasons for allowing me to go through this storm. I may never know the full extent of purposes, and I don’t really care anymore. But, there’s one that He’s been blaring at me for days now so I need to share.

I think, no, I KNOW that the way my story spread so quickly and inspired so many to pray was a big part of it. It always confused me because I’m not aware of much evidence in the Bible that indicates we need to get increased numbers of people to pray. That’s why I waited awhile to beg for prayer and to work on getting all 50 states to pray. Now I see it (I think) through His eyes better. The point wasn’t just that He was more likely to heal me if more prayed. He was always going to show Himself. It was to get as many people as possible to see it. Those who closed their eyes missed His glory!
I’ll type the whole section of Paul’s letter that will give context. The italics and caps will show my emphasis for today’s point: 2 Cor 1:8-11, “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us as you help us by your prayers. Then MANY WILL GIVE THANKS ON OUR BEHALF FOR THE GRACIOUS FAVOR GRANTED US IN ANSWER TO THE PRAYERS OF MANY.”

Becoming Fluent in God…and Chemo #6

I had my second Taxol treatment yesterday and it went better than the first. I didn’t get sick or fall asleep. I was so prepared to pass out that I barely brought anything to do, so it was really boring. Fortunately, there were big things on my mind so there was plenty to pray about.

After posting about love the other day, it became abundantly clear that I am worse at it than I had realized while blogging. Several things came up that required my being loving toward other people. I actually did do some good things, but was slightly missing the mark. For example, I barely slowed down while passing a broken-down car. Afterward I did realize what I’d done and turned around, but barely and with hesitation. I am so glad I did, but I know it would please God much more if it had been immediate. I should have put my hazard lights on the second I noticed it, not debated the pros and cons for a quarter mile before stopping. Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’.”

I’m slowly coming to realize that my head is a pretty good Christian. When given a scenario to contemplate I can give relatively good advice about how to proceed. And in the midst of something huge like “terminal cancer” I can at least follow the basic tenets of my faith. However, that stuff isn’t typical life. In day-to-day, minute-by-minute life I struggle. ALWAYS! I backslide more than grow, take the wimpy way out more than not, and “forget” the lessons I’ve been taught. My goal is to be fluent in all things God from now on. I was reminded in a Bible study the other day that Paul talks about living life on earth as a race. I need to pick up the pace. Not because other people are passing me–too often we think of where we’re at in reference to others. But because that’s what I’m called to do. If I say I am a follower of Christ I can’t pick and choose when to apply the principles of the Bible. I can’t make up my own rules because they make me fit in better with other people or help me get more done in a day. He says show love, so I will show love to the nice people as well as that really annoying person holding up the grocery store checkout line. He says be patient so I will not give Abigail a guilt trip because she is making us late. He says “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect” (Mth 5:48), so that’s what I’ll strive for. No excuses. No vacations.

2 Cor 4:6-7, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”