Shaken Faith

Perhaps this particular blog post has been born from condemnation. Not self condemnation, and not condemnation from any friends or family. No, the form of condemnation to which I refer is from the master of all things evil, the accuser, the one who sticks the knife in swiftly but then twists and turns the instrument of torture until the victim bleeds out in a horrible, painful death. I am speaking of Satan, Beelzebub, Lucifer, the devil, the enemy of every man, woman, or child.

Let me give some back story on how this situation came to be in my life.

In November 2014, two days before Thanksgiving, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in my right breast. It was very aggressive but also very small. I was diagnosed on Tuesday and in the surgeon’s office the next day. To say that I was shocked and frightened out of my mind at this news would be an enormous understatement. The tumor was revealed on my annual mammogram, and I had no clue that there was a problem until the “you failed the mammogram test” letter arrived four days later. In October, I had jokingly named the girls in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. The left is Betty Boob. The right is Elva Breastly. Elva betrayed me in the worst possible way!

A lumpectomy was scheduled for January 9th. The tumor and sentinel lymph node were removed in a short day surgery. The following Monday evening, my surgeon called with the good news that the cancer had not reached the node, so radiation was recommended, but chemo was not deemed a necessary protocol.

While I was awaiting the original diagnosis, another friend of mine was going through the same process. She remained joyful and didn’t appear to be in the same emotional messy place where I was dwelling. Her results were far different. She did not have breast cancer, Praise the Lord! I was so very happy that she did not have the disease. Really!

A week ago, another friend who is a pastor at our church had several life altering strokes. She was blinded in both eyes and her speech and ability to move normally were greatly compromised. After many tests were completed and analyzed, the doctor at the hospital told my friend and her husband (He is also a pastor at our church) that the damage was permanent. He showed her husband the brain damage on the scans. They replied to him, “Okay.” He tried to make them understand that she was not ever going to live life without disability again. They again replied, “Okay.” They spoke from that place of deep faith. Whatever the journey, their path was ordered by The Lord God Almighty. Our Senior Pastor felt led and anointed to pray for our friend late in the evening that night as he and his wife sat with our friend and her husband. When he finished, she turned her head and told him that she could see him! By the next morning, she had regained vision, speech, and movement. She underwent many more tests over the next several days to determine what caused the strokes, but no reason was found. All that remained was the brain damage on the scan that belied her return to health. A modern day, honest to goodness miracle! Our entire congregation had been praying. Those prayers soon turned into great rejoicing as the word spread of God’s miraculous touch upon our sister’s life.

Hmmmm, three instances of needed healing. Two of those healings came with the touch of the miraculous. Mine did not….or that’s the thought that kept popping up in my head. Countless prayers were uttered on my behalf from friends and loved ones around the world. Wait, what? I have breast cancer and need surgery? And radiation? What? But, GOD! The enemy’s voice (and one would think that one would recognize it by now!) began to quickly spew out little sprinkles of condemnation, with wailing sirens and lights flashing, so that the thoughts could not be ignored. “There must be something wrong in your life that God chose to let you have cancer! He must not love you as much as He loves your friends! He healed them! He’s got a plan for your life, but it’s not as important a plan as your friends’. You’ve always been on a back shelf in God’s mind. You really just don’t matter.” And on and on and on!

STOP!
GO BACK TO WHAT YOU KNOW!

“I am the God that healeth thee.” Exodus 15:26 KJV; “The entirety of Your Word is Truth, and every one of Your righteous judgements endures forever.” Psalm 119:160 NKJV; “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct Your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6; “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV; “My help comes from the LORD, Who made Heaven and Earth. He Who keeps me will not slumber. The LORD is my keeper. The LORD shall preserve me from all evil. He shall preserve my soul. The LORD shall preserve my going out and my coming in. From this time forth, and even forevermore.” Psalm 121:1, 3, 5, 7, 8.

As I fell back on what I know to be TRUTH, the enemy still twisted that deadly weapon of his. Many of these promises are contingent upon obedience. Whoops! How many times have I failed to obey? At least a billion times comes to mind! “Gotcha!” I heard the unholy one snarl.

But my arsenal, readied through the years, even from childhood, was impenetrable and held enough ammo to defeat the enemy. The Warrior Spirit of my LORD rose up in me.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:9 NKJV
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 NIV
And, the coup de grâce, “He Who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” I John 4:4 NKJV

The enemy would have me to believe that my healing was not of the miracle realm, but when I consider the healing properties of the human body (“I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” Psalm 139:14), the vast knowledge, skill, compassion, and care of medical professionals, the absolute wonder of modern medical technology, I choose to differ with him. In fact, I choose to stomp on him with that TRUTH.

So, even though the Lord chose not to deliver my body from cancer by what many would call a miracle, I still stand today in that place of healing. Perhaps one day, He’ll share that mystery with me. Right now, it’s enough to know that that He is altogether trustworthy, He loves me, and I belong to Him.

Cancer shook my faith, but I hear the voice of the LORD shouting, “BUT YOU STOOD! BUT YOU STOOD!” Only by your grace, LORD, only by Your grace!

A pondering today…

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