11/22/11 : There’s a great line in Joshua that I came so close to teaching on this past Sunday. It’s one of those lines in Scripture that speaks volumes especially when you are walking through the battle.
Joshua had conquered Jericho as well as the Northern and Southern kingdoms. Thirty-one kings in all were defeated and I’m certain that the people of Israel felt great jubilation as well as exhaustion. It’s then that Scripture records this one line:
“Then the land had rest from war.” (Josh. 11:23)
We learned at the onset of Laura’s diagnosis that the word “cancer” brings with it great emotion. No matter how anchored you are there are certain words in this world that have the ability to shake you up. Such words are disturbing, frightening, confusing and create inner turmoil. They present you with uncertainty about the future and leave you spinning and at times feeling out of control.
You find yourself suddenly in an unexpected battle with a known enemy, but the movement of where it’s advancing is so unclear.
As a result you end up walking down roads that have not yet been created. You begin to question, ponder and at times draw conclusions that may or may not transpire. You awfulize the future, and if you are not careful you end up becoming consumed with the unknown.
Pastor Stan Buck who leads Sunrise at Aboite is walking through his own cancer battle with brain cancer. He along with his family have been confronting their conflict with a deep seeded conviction and trust in the Lord. He said something that Laura and I are holding onto these days.
Cancer is a small “c”, but Christ is the capital “C”.
In other words, the person, power, promises and presence of Christ trumps everything else. Christ gives us hope and Christ leads us to, into and through the battles we fight. He does not abandon us. He does go before us. He does fight for us. He is there to intercede on our behalf and He leads us. His words give us perspective and keeps us grounded. The hope we have is anchored in Him and Him alone.
Yesterday we went wig hunting. Several days back I thought it would be an emotional moment for us, but it wasn’t. We made it a family experience, which allowed the kids the chance to vote their preference – and they did. Together we came to the same conclusion of what looked great on Laura.
As a dad I was so proud of my family yesterday. We joked a bit about the wig and laughed a little. I don’t know what Laura was feeling, but I felt a tinge of sadness. Yet, there was a level of comfort about the moment for all of us. They kids encouraged her and their optimism inspired us a bit. Overall, it was a good day.
We also had Laura’s ultrasound on her Thyroid yesterday. I’m no radiologist so I’ll hold my thoughts on what I saw. We both know there is something, but right now our concern and focus is on the breast cancer. The Lord will guide us through that battle if it even exists.
Today we walk through that unknown front of chemotherapy.
We both slept with a sense of peace last night. As a family we huddled in our bed last night and reflected on the story of Ruth. We talked a bit about the way God provides for us. Lydia prayed for mom and the chemo this morning that she would not get sick, but most of all she prayed for the Lord to heal her.
Life is a series of battles: One battle after another.
Each day we seem to be finding a new and brighter perspective. We are discovering peace in a profound way as well as the strength of Christ’s sufficient grace. God is giving us rest.
We know that one day there will be “rest” in the land.
Brad Krupp sent me a great note this morning laced with some incredible truth to hang onto this day. He is leading our men’s group on Saturday mornings through Louie Giglio's Passion talks and he shared a few of his notes from the past few week's series on Hope.
When trouble comes, our anchor is the cross. At the cross, God loves us most (1Jn4:7-12). At the cross, God shows us He always maintains control. At the cross, God shows us that He can use the worst for eternal good. At the cross, God shows us that He paints on a canvas bigger than we can see or understand (things didn't look so hot on Good Friday). At the cross, God understands our pain.
When trouble comes, we are handed a megaphone. We speak loudest to the world when we suffer, just as God spoke loudest at the cross. It is a megaphone for what we believe. Suffering is your servant, not you a servant of it.
What a great truth to hang onto today as we venture into our new front.