“They overcame by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.” ~ Revelation 12:11
I sat there on the table waiting for the doctor to come in and say what he had learned from my test. My friend sat on the chair beside the door and waited with me. I wouldn’t have felt alone even without my friend’s presence, but it was nice to have the distraction of conversation. It was good to know I wouldn’t have to hear it alone. He entered the room quickly with a pained expression, grabbed my hand in a sort of awkward handshake and said, “You have cancer.”
He got it out quickly, as though the words might make him sick if he kept them in. And the first miracle came instantly. Words that were spoken loudly to my spirit in that same moment, the words that followed almost simultaneously, covering the doctor’s. I heard these just as clearly.
The familiar voice of the Holy Spirit spoke,
“I AM Still Your God.”
Just like that. Before I had even had a split second to fear, or a moment to cry out; before I could have possibly said, “Lord, talk to me about this!” He reminded me that He is ever present, that He was there and indeed had arrived before me for this appointment.
Like the Good Father He is, He reminded me with those words of His complete awareness of exactly where I am at every moment and what is happening in my every step. I was reminded that He is faithful. Completely. Perfectly. Faithful.
I continued listening as the doctor explained what had been found. That peace we often speak of that truly does pass all understanding was covering me. I nodded and affirmed as he spoke to me. He finally said, “I don’t think you’re hearing me. You just keep saying ‘okay’ and nodding your head.” I told him that I had heard every word and recounted for him what he had said up to that point. (I can only imagine the various reactions he has observed over the years.)
My immediate reaction was irritation at the inconvenience of it all! Simply, I don’t have TIME for this! I am preparing for a writers’ conference, starting a new position in my work, planning a women’s conference, leading a women’s Bible study. I absolutely cannot squeeze in time for cancer!
“I Am Still Your God.”
And I am reminded that all of these things I am so busy doing are HIS and not mine. I let my mind understand also; my body is His, not my own, my mission is about Him, not about me.
This same God who reminds me that HE is still my God has made my most important decisions all along; the day of my birth, what family He would give me to, what structure and form my body would have, the day of my salvation, the people he would place in my path; the places He would take me to see, what He would allow and disallow to touch me, my children, my entire life, my mission – ALL HIS, Designed and Delivered by the One Living True and Faithful, Sovereign God.
When I remember these things, raising my open hands to Him becomes not only easy, but completely natural.
“Oh Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before; And laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high. I cannot attain it! Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” ~Psalm 139:1-7
The second miracle was the complete peace I had surrounding me. Hearing the “C” word aimed at you is a strange hit. It caused my head to almost swim for a minute, and even as God’s words blanketed me gently, I thought, “I don’t want to tell my mother and dad, my husband, my children, family…they don’t need to worry about this.”
“I AM Still Your God.”
How is this going to impact my work, the book project, all of the things I am trying to accomplish?
“I AM Still Your God.”
The first day I shared with my family and closest friends, and I said, “I trust God,” over and over the entire day, both because I do and because I wanted them to do the same.
I went to lunch with two of my dearest friends and we laughed and talked about a lot of things besides cancer. I felt the perfect and loving embrace of my husband who came home from his work out of town that day, and held me with a precious love that some people never experience in this life.
And yes, Life continues, but the next miracle is the awareness that overwhelmed me. Everywhere I looked, it seemed as though I had new eyes. Every person looked especially beautiful to me! Though the rain had been falling for days, every drop was suddenly delightful to me! I experienced this unprecedented deep appreciation for everyone and everything around me.
This life on earth is temporary at our best longevity, it is a BRIEF moment in eternity. I know who I am in Christ. I am not lost. I understand my identity. I have a clear picture of my mission on this earth, and I have a keen sense of purpose.
Release and Focus all at once. There is freedom in this.
It is good to be alive, and better to live forever with Christ in God’s presence. Temporary in this body, but never dying because I know I already have. To live is Christ, to die is gain. We are in a win-win when we understand these things of God.
“For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectations and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” ~ Philippians 1:19-21