Trials of Terror

You might have seen that I dared to post good news about the Good News of Jesus on Wednesday. I spent a few minutes extolling the Lord and some of the great things He has done in supernaturally healing me of incurable cancer. So, of course, the following day it looked like everything had changed…

I went to my routine bi-annual appointment with Dr. Crooms, my awesome surgeon. I would remind you how completely amazing he is, but the best nurse in the world, Nurse Karen, asked that I stop advertising for them–the list of patients waiting to get in with him is just too long! Anyway, I had a lump of scar tissue that Dr. Rassam hasn’t been concerned about, but Dr. Crooms was interested in it and wanted a closer look. He gave me an ultrasound then had me come back today for a biopsy. 


I don’t know if this event arose from some sort of interchange between the devil and the Lord,  like what happened in Job. Maybe God wanted me to see what I would do in a situation like this. Either way, I’ve entitled it, “Trial of Terror: Will They or Won’t They?” Because it was so clear that it was an opportunity to put our money where our mouths were–would we allow terror to set in, and embrace the panic of having the cancer return (or another cancer discovered)? Or would we stand firm in the faith of who God is? Yaacov told me a few times that it was our chance for a do-over from how we handled cancer the first time around. To which I (obviously) thought, “But I rocked the first diagnosis, no need for a do-over…”


But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Cor 11:13


I think most cancer survivors have a bit of PTSD related to their diagnosis, and in my case, sometimes my world sort of revolves around the fact that God healed me of it when there was nothing else men could do to help me. Not only do I remember every detail of my original diagnosis, but so much of it was the same yesterday. He used the same ultrasound machine and gave me the same news, “I can do a biopsy today and get the permanent section results back in a few days, or you can come back in the morning and we could get the preliminary results in an hour”. This is because it was after business hours both times he decided to give me a biopsy. The first time around we got a false negative result with the preliminary, frozen section, yet I went for that option again this time.

God gives me so much freedom that I could have reacted the same way I did three years ago and it would have been okay. Back then I clung to Jesus but was simultaneously completely panicked. My inner voice spoke as loudly and quickly as the real people I spoke to, resulting in an influx of turmoil and stress. My mind jumped rapidly between “what ifs”, self-pity, and planning for the future. This time, though, my faith is stronger. Peace is more thorough, my foundation sturdier. This time, my heart didn’t even skip a beat. God helped me control my thinking, and I slept soundly. He assured me that what He does is complete, nothing can be added or taken from it (Ecc 3:14). More importantly, He reminded me that I honestly prefer His plan to my own, and He will carry me wherever I need to go. There’s no room for self-pity or doubts in the kingdom of heaven.


Matthew 12:20 Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.

We have total peace in God’s plan and I am certain that I am cancer-free. But mostly, I am encouraged to be able to see some of the tangible growth that both Yaacov and I have made in our walks with Christ over the past few years. The biopsy experiences were so similar they were like pre- and post- tests. Hopefully our scores improved! I had a pretty strong faith and a perfectly healthy, easy life at the time of the pre-test. But I am so grateful that in His sovereignty He had bigger plans for me–an intervention! He pre-planned the journey to make me a better person by teaching me about fear, healing, faith, prayer, compassion, perseverance, and love. He used suffering to enlighten me and I wouldn’t reject that blessing if given the choice.

The frozen section biopsy came back negative, like we expected. We should get the permanent section results early next week. 

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36


UPDATE: The permanent section biopsy came back negative, too! We are so thankful to this God we serve, through whom all things are possible!

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Heart of My Heart

The Lord is teaching me about my heart and Holy Spirit. The lesson is so deep, yet perfectly simple, and it touches me to the core. I’ve said many times that part of me has felt dead inside since my diagnosis. It’s not a depression, just something I wrestle with, and sometimes it’s helpful. In fact, Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life”, and whatever I unconsciously do to keep from really feeling things can protect my heart. But, He has shown me how special it is to deeply care for people, which can’t be done when we are too guarded. And when we’re talking about letting our guards down to share God’s love with them, we’re really opening our hearts to Him. He is the only One it’s totally safe to trust. He said, “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep my ways.” Proverbs 23:26

There is so much pain in the world; brokenness underlies every sin, it’s hidden behind welcoming smiles, exudes from those lying at the foot of the cross and also from the worshipping at the feet of idols. We have to harden our hearts sometimes just to make it through our own day, let alone to stay standing in the midst of so much sorrow. It’s easier to put our heads down and keep trucking…the phrase “herd immunity” takes on another meaning to me upon this reflection.

I want to enjoy the life He has blessed me with, and to reserve the pain and misery for the sad parts of daily life. But, that’s not His plan. And His plan is better. His plan includes opening our hearts for more risk, more pain, but more reward. He has aligned my heart with the hearts of others, and my spirit mourns and delights along with them. 

It’s clear that He puts certain people and situations in our paths to pray for and meditate on more than others. I am so fortunate that He put my story on many of your hearts, and that you were obedient to pray for us. I’ve heard so many stories of how special it was to you all when I was healed, because it made it such a special answer to your own prayer to hear the news Dr. Rassam shared, “It’s gone, your cancer is all gone! I have never seen anything like it!”. 

When I prayed for Debora’s healing, my spirit deeply interceded for her. It was hard and exhausting and terrifying. But when we received the confirmation of her healing it was the most special news I could imagine. In many ways I was more moved than with my own healing. The joy of the Lord was so powerful I couldn’t sleep or even carry on a conversation about anything else. It is an incomparable memory of the Lord and me that I thoroughly cherish. Even in my guarded heart I would daresay that experience alone is worth being brokenhearted the rest of my days. I long for others to experience that, not to try to strongarm the Lord into doing more miracles, but to give all the chance to witness that side of Him. His love and power are incomprehensible, but more obvious when our hearts are open and watching for these things. 

“And these signs will accompany those who believe…they will lay their hands on the sic, and they will recover.” Mark 16: 17;18

We all have many opportunities to pray and care for others every day. I don’t know how or why He opens our hearts toward certain people and not others. I do know that He is the God of our hearts and opens and hardens them as He sees fit. So, I want to make sure to include some of the problems people contact me about on here, in case He opens your heart to pray for them. If you haven’t had the blessing of interceding deeply for someone who sort of “shares” your heart, dare to ask for such an opportunity. Dare to care. 

Some of these people already share my own heart. I imagine I know the depth of their despair, but all I actually know is Ps 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”.

Lyn received PET scan results, thanks to all for praying! Sadly, the scan showed no improvement with the medication she’s been taking, and a slight increase in the spread stage 4 breast cancer. This is totally devastating and confusing, they don’t know what treatment to do next, or what doctor’s recommendations to follow. Let’s pray that He shows Himself to be Lyn’s Great Physician and reminds the whole family of His sovereignty. Pray boldly that He fully heals Lyn, so His great name will be exalted throughout the land, and that many come to faith because of it.
A friend is having a PET scan today. We are believing in and expecting a perfect report of no cancer at all. Pray for peace, love, joy, and truth to reign!!!
Julie, Karen, Mila and Kelly are all fighting breast cancer. Daniel has malignant mesothelioma and his sons are 1 and 3 years old. Amanda and Meredith are young and are bravely battling different cancers. Pray the Lord will be close to them and that they grow in their faith and assurance of who He is. Pray for their hearts, souls, and bodies!

Alison needs total and permanent physical relief from the severe facial pain she’s been facing, it’s torturous. My friends Betsy and Natalie have been struggling with lyme disease and all it’s effects.  
Cheri needs prayer to be overcome by God’s goodness, that He nourishes the parched land with His living water, and that her soul finds rest and peace in His arms.

I’m sorry for the lack of details with all of these, but God knows everything about each of these people. He knows His plans to bless them all with abundant, everlasting life, and to lead them beside still streams. Every one of them faces agony in different ways, and has done so for many days. I pray they would persevere and never lose hope. That the glory of God will fill their lives and that they would reflect it back to our Savior.

Matthew 4:23, “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”

Keep on keeping on

Some traveling missionaries from a different religion just came by the house to “turn us” their way. Whenever that happens we offer the story of my supernatural healing as a testimony of our deep faith in the One True Son of God. And, whenever that happens, the missionaries smile, say a few nice words, then become awkwardly silent. Every time.

People of all faiths have praised the Lord for doing this work in me year after year, I witness it all the time. But there’s something about people who show up at my house on mission to convert me from my “false doctrine” that keeps them from seeing His glory in it. I want to tell them that their lack of appreciation for what He’s done is the single most telling sign that the Holy Spirit does not dwell within them. I will try harder to pray for their ears to be truly opened so that one day we can fully discuss it and praise the Lord the way He deserves.
Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
He deserves praise for what He did for me when He cast the cancer out of my body. But He also deserves praise for making the sun rise today. For blessing me with children, no matter how frustrating they can be. For providing the money to buy food. For being there when no one else is. For forgiving every single sin I have ever committed. For knowing the bad, ugly, evil thoughts that fester within me, and the real condition of my heart, and loving me anyway. But as I get wrapped up in my minor problems and feel suffocated, angry, fearful, battered, or alone, I don’t remember the sunrise. I am burdened by the kids. The bank account is too low. I don’t recognize His presence. 
The gospel message is SO SIMPLE, why is it SO HARD to live out? Going back to the Old Testament, there were only 10 Commandments. Ten simple laws, that spawned numerous iterations because the people couldn’t distinguish between the black and white. No matter how many experts weighed in on what the laws meant, people kept breaking them. Day after day. Finally, the Lord sent His only son, who was fully God and fully man, to live as a sinless, perfect sacrifice to atone for all the sins we would ever commit. Jesus abolished the law with His death on the cross. Now we have no law, and still we can’t behave. I can’t even make it through breakfast without feeling sorry for myself. By lunch I have judged everyone I’ve interacted with. By dinner I’ve spent more time complaining to or about God than praising and petitioning Him put together. And it isn’t until after dinner that I really let loose. Right before bed the guilt sets in and I start confessing my sin and planning what a great person I’ll be tomorrow.
1 Peter 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
This stuff isn’t easy. If it was, we wouldn’t need a thousand pages of the Bible. We wouldn’t have to read, “do not be discouraged”, because life would be so easy we wouldn’t be tempted to lose heart. And we wouldn’t dare to cast our cares on Him and receive the relief that comes from trusting in the Holy Spirit instead of ourselves. 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
If you’re feeling like a failure, know that you aren’t alone. If you can’t think of anything to praise God for, thank Him that Swarna had been told her cancer returned, but she trusted in Him and the Pet scan came back clear. Praise Him for having mercy on Mindy, who did not know Him before her diagnosis, but proclaimed His name before she passed away. Praise Him because His promises are true and His mercies are new each day. He might not have answered you yesterday, but that doesn’t mean He won’t do it today. Keep praising, keep praying, keep reading His promises. 

Romans 15:13  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

More than a comforter

The Lord is our comforter. The prince of peace. He creates a tranquil calm in the midst of storms that transcends all our human understanding. Holy is He who casts out all fear and soothes our souls! 

2 Cor 1:4, ” [He] who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
So, we find out someone is sick and we comfort them the way He has comforted us in the past. We hear about a struggle and we pray for His will to be done, that they would know the supernaturally perfect peace of the Savior. And we move on. Mission accomplished, right?
Maybe not. Maybe praying, hoping, even striving for comfort is a great intention but…maybe stopping there is among the deeply insulting ways we fall short in loving God. We must love Him and His people bravely and deeply, bolstered by the power of the Holy Spirit, who calls us to speak the truth, and be doers of the Word. 
If you and your children were trapped in a car as it fell into a lake, would you want an onlooker to pray for your comfort? To call out “boldly”, “Peace, my peace I leave you!” My heart aches just thinking of the cowardice that would display. The sad reality of how often that happens. Remember, when we do things for others, we are doing them for Him and through Him. God’s is not a coward. Jesus was not a coward, the Holy Spirit is no coward. This is how He came: “And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each of them” (Acts 1:2-3). That is the same Holy Spirit who dwells within every baptized believer! Would someone who valued that Holy Spirit and His power watch the car plunge through the depths of a watery grave and begin to mourn before the car was fully submerged? 
Of course not. So why do we learn bad news from men and immediately jump to platitudes and peace offerings? Do not misunderstand me. Peace is amazing, and it is the opposite of fear, which we should call on the Lord to quench at all costs. But, peace is just one of the limitless perfect blessings the Lord will bring to us. Not through manmade objects, positive thinking, or will power, but through true faith in Him. He tells us time and again to pray, pray, pray. “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16). The parable of the persistent widow taught us to always pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1-8). “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7) Then do it again. And again. “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15). 

The bolder the prayer, the more faith it takes to pray it. It’s hard, sometimes impossible, to pray for impossible things. But if things were possible with men we wouldn’t need to pray. We wouldn’t need a hero…but we do need one, and we have Him! He came, freely, to save us, it’s already been done! The blessings that come from Him answering impossible, faith-filled prayers are so much greater than whatever He did to answer it. It is for His glory, and not for our own. So no man can boast, we pray and seek this Mighty God who does so much more than comfort us. He heals, loves, empowers, gives, and takes away. Let’s treat Him and His people like they are worth the risk of acting boldly and expecting mighty results!

A Prayerful Life

Well, the Lord is at work again! Just when I think He’s doing something different, He brings me back into this prayerful lifestyle. He has revolutionized my prayers and is working quickly. I’ll be praying and hear my voice pray for a random thought that comes to mind, and then He answers it right away. It’s happened several times in the past few weeks. I prayed about whether to keep (or, restart) writing, and He showed me Isaiah 12:4, “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name, make known among the nations what He has done, and proclaim that His name is exalted”. Then, I prayed for more opportunities to share what He has done, and three different people who I know from this blog contacted me for prayer. All within one day. So, I get it that He wants me to pray and blog, so that there will be more people to pray for. And that He wants to keep using me to exalt His perfect name.

2 Samuel 22:47, “The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation”

What? It probably shouldn’t be that exciting or surprising to me that He wants to keep using me, but He never fails to amaze me. I am so irrelevant, unimpressive, unfaithful…but He calls me anyway.
He put things in my heart–in all our hearts– just to show He’s there. The miracle He blessed me with wasn’t a one-time deal, but was just a moment that opened my eyes to this world where the Creator reigns so powerfully that the scientific laws–and common sense– do not prevail. Hail to this God whose love knows no bounds, mercy never fails, grace is limitless, and whose sacrifices are unmatched! He IS good, when the money is in the bank, kids are behaving, work is fruitful and doctor reports are clear. He IS good, when the storms come, the money disappears, the loved ones are unlovable, or the diagnosis or prognosis worsens. When man’s report provides no hope, He is always good.

“Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Isaiah 53:1

I forget His goodness often, and revert to feeling sorry for myself and the minor problems I struggle with. I’m struggling with minor health problems related to either my thyroid or the Arimidex I’m taking. The more I pray about them, the more He reminds me of people with real problems. I keep hearing how the flu is going around, but it seems to me that cancer is going around. I don’t always know exactly how to pray for these people. I know God could heal any and all of them, but the most important part is really the spiritual healing we all need. So I just start with the fear and pain caused by their physical circumstances and wait on the Holy Spirit to move my prayers from there.

2 Thess 1:11, “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work by faith of His power”

One girl, Amanda, is my age, and I don’t know the back story, but she was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2008 (around age 29 I think), and it’s come back multiple times since then. We went to high school together and the clearest thing I remember is that everyone said she would be the first female president. It’s not too late for that! But, I’ve noticed many people send her “positive thoughts” and other nice intentions. But I think interceding for her, to the One who can do something about her health, is the most valuable gift we could give. I also am praying for a local woman named Julie, who is seeking the Lord as she fights stage 4 breast cancer. She believes He will heal her and has already found many sweet blessings from the Lord through this. I call those “love notes” because they are so personal and dear to us. Ioa is another woman, who just finished treatment for breast cancer, and then they found cancer in the lining of her brain! That feels like an extra-large test to me. ALL cancer patients have at least a moment of fear that the cancer will come back or isn’t really gone. Even if you’re so faithful you cast it out quickly, it still crosses through your brain a time or two. And this is the worst one. She was probably counting down the days to finish treatment, then trying not to panic when her head kept aching. And the doctors couldn’t find anything at first, so she probably second guessed herself and now knows she can’t always count on her doctors. Anyway, she is undergoing radiation on her brain now and is believing in the Lord for a total healing. Please pray for her mental and physical healing and support during this traumatic time. Finally, Lyn was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and is currently figuring out what type of treatment to go through. This is such a hard time for anyone with such a diagnosis. It’s nearly impossible to focus on the joy of Christmas, and spending focused time with your loved ones, when you are still reeling from the diagnosis. And you don’t know what God would have you do for treatment, or even really how to pray and hear from Him amidst the turmoil, fear, outside opinions, and chaos of the holidays. I can’t help but think back to the Christmas of 2011 when we went through that. It makes me dizzy and a little nauseas, even though I know how my own turned out!

Mark 9:23, “All things are possible for one whom believes”

Please pray for these women with the joy of one called to work for Him. Praying doesn’t require much from us, but can open more doors than money, fame, or force. Luke 16:10 says “he who can be trusted with little will be trusted with much.” So, we do our part by praying, especially for those He puts heavily on our hearts. I think when the Holy Spirit really tugs at your heartstrings about someone (or something), it could He is specifically calling you, entrusted you with, to expectation pray for her. He can answer the prayers for big things as easily as those for little ones, and does so to increase our faith, and His glory. What a privilege to commune with Him, and to intercede for the underdog!

Petscher’s Week of Gratitude

My spirit is deeply moved with gratitude and a deep longing to please the Lord. It’s been three years since The Diagnosis. I was miraculously healed more than 2.5 years ago, yet I still haven’t been able to express words that truly convey my appreciation for that gift.

When I think back to this time in 2011, my heart still races and I lose my breath. The day before Thanksgiving I met Dr. Rassam and he first told us I was dying. When I replay all the events, good and bad, that I’ve experienced since then I’m awestruck and humbled that He cares so much about me. I didn’t deserve to be healed, but He did that and continues to carry me along this journey of sanctification. And I’m a bit gutted that I still have so far to go before being truly sanctified, or set apart and holy for Him.

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22, 37-40).

Over the past few months the Holy Spirit has been urging me to set apart a time specifically to focus on Him. He finally motivated me to do so in a variety of ways until I could not put it off any longer. Now that we are committed I am really looking forward to it. Yaacov, the girls, and I are going to take this week leading up to Thanksgiving and set it apart as a time of gratitude for the Lord. It’s sort of like a lifestyle fast I suppose. There will be some exceptions because we had already committed to attending some events, but in general we are streamlining everything. We will live off primarily “needs” instead of “wants”. The girls will have a few books and toys to hold onto, but the rest will be off-limits. We will only use phones and other electronics for work or as truly needed, and we will alternate through 3 outfits. We won’t have treats, extra outings, snacks, tv or music, and the meals will be simpler than usual. Maybe we will turn the furnace off but I’m not sure. If others have done things like this, please comment with how yours went! Hopefully we will become much more focused on the Lord and blessing His people, and much less focused on ourselves and our fleshly desires. 

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6)
We are not doing this to become more worthy of the Lord’s love. We will not be earning a place in heaven or anything. It’s just to get back to what’s important and to appreciate the many blessings He bestows on us for what they are–unmerited grace! 

Titus 3:4-7, “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Hope in Unanswered Prayers

Barbara Holloway left the earth early Wednesday morning. Since then I waited to post this in case I got some amazing revelation that improved the tone of the post, but that just hasn’t happened. She was a very strong and devoted believer and we know she is in her rightful place, at the “beginning” of eternity with the Lord. 


Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-28145A" data-link="(A)” style=”background-color: white; box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; text-align: start; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>
 of those who love him, who have been called<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-28145B" data-link="(B)” style=”background-color: white; box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; text-align: start; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> according to his purpose.”

There are no more tears or regrets in heaven. There is no more sin. Nothing to dread. No hurt feelings, pain, or sorrow. She got to go where we all should be. Where we all would have been if it weren’t for the sin that Eve (first) committed in the garden. Barbara left this nomadic life where she was a stranger and didn’t fully belong for the only place that isn’t true. She made it to the end of the long race, where the Lord greeted her with His passionate joy and love.

We should all rejoice that Barbara is in heaven. Instead of coveting our neighbor’s car/job/house/husband/well-mannered children/toned body/savings account/friends (pick whatever best applies), we should covet her new life. She is home and we are not. 

But there is one problem: She didn’t want to go. 

Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-16256Y" data-link="(Y)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

On the surface, and maybe a few layers beneath that, it feels like the ultimate betrayal by the Father. He promises, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7). I assure you without any hesitation or confusion, Barbara asked to be healed and to stay on earth. She asked time after time. I’m told thousands were praying for her. She wholeheartedly believed He would heal her, until the very last agonizing breath, she believed He would answer that prayer. 

We can rejoice that she really was healed, but let’s not pretend that was the answer she was looking for. She asked to be healed on earth and He chose not to do that. He could have done it but He knew better. He alone knows what is best for you, best for me, best for Barbara. He knows what God-glorifying things will happen on earth because her time on earth ended. He knows what other pain or problems she avoided by moving to heaven. He created her, you, me, and everything on the earth. He numbers and ordains all of our days, and He makes no mistakes.

Colossians 1:15-17, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

We might want to know why He answers some prayers and not others, but we might never know. We just have to trust. That’s what faith is all about, the confidence in what we hope for, the assurance of what we cannot see (Heb 11:1). We don’t know the reasons, but we are never left alone with the answers. Jesus understands our feelings. When He saw Mary mourning over the loss of her brother, “He was deeply moved in His spirit and greatly troubled” (John 11:33). The Jews even recognized it and said, “See how He loved him!” (John 11:36). Jesus had already planned to raise Lazarus, so we don’t know if the sadness had anything to do with why He raised Lazarus from the dead, but regardless the words convey His true feelings. Jesus didn’t sin, so He wasn’t wrong in feeling enough sorrow for some combination of Mary’s loss, the earthly loss of Lazarus, and maybe  for the confusion and sadness produced by His not preventing the death, that He wept. 


Barbara was in horrendous physical anguish at the end of her life. It was torture. But she never lost the hope of the living. She trusted fully in her Savior, even though He seemed to turn His back on her. The big picture is that He helped her to end up where she should be, where it is perfect and beautiful, pain-free and carefree, instead of where she thought she should be. Praise to the Lord Almighty who knows so much better than we do! Please pray for her family’s sadness to turn to joy as they see the ways He turns Barbara’s legacy into more fruit on earth.


2 Corinthians 4:16-18  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.