God has proved Himself faithful through the ages and continues to speak to those who seek Him. That is why, I encourage every Client I serve to get into the Scriptures for themselves through Journey Notes Praise Journaling. One of my favorite passages we visit is recorded in Jeremiah 29:11-13, where God offers hope to a generation that had forgotten Him:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
In these weeks and months, as our family has journeyed the cancer trail with our son Luke and then our beautiful Shannon, the challenges have been many. Certainly, fear has been a constant threat–the thought of losing either (or both) of them have weighed heavily on our hearts. Yet our faith has been strengthened as we have watched them persevere in trusting God at every juncture. Since Shannon’s surgery, nearly two-and-a-half weeks ago, we have watched as Luke has gained strength daily but not knowing what was in store for Shannon.
As we have waited for the results of Shannon’s tests, I have thought about the faith of three men who lived long ago, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. When ordered to bow down to an image of gold or perish in a fiery furnace, they refused to obey the king. Their response to the kings order, before being thrown into the fiery furnace, bore testimony to a faith in God that saw beyond this world:
“King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Yesterday we rejoiced at the wonderful news from Shannon’s pathology report. Her cancer has been determined to be at “stage one”, so she will remain under observation, but will not have to receive further treatment. You can bet that many tears of relief fell as the dread of further treatment was lifted from our shoulders! We are certainly grateful for God’s gracious answer to all of our prayers and yet . . . I pray that we never lose sight of His continued faithfulness to us throughout this trial.
This season of “walking through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23) has drawn us closer together as a family and to the Shepherd of our hearts. Many have entered in to bless us with countless prayers, acts of sacrifice and kindness that humbled us all. Reflecting on all of this, Shannon asked this question a few weeks ago: “If all of this hadn’t happened, what would we be doing?” The answer chilled us–we would probably be busy and worried about things that really have little significance in the greater scheme of things.
As we move into the New Year, my prayer is that we never lose sight of the lessons learned through this trial. Certainly, cancer is ugly, horrible stuff. Yet, in the midst of such ugliness, we have learned to count our many blessings as God has proven Himself to be faithful. I extend my prayer for those of you who read this. No matter what you are facing, give thanks to God for the opportunity to deepen your faith; with every breath He grants you, give thanks for His glorious grace!
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I Thessalonians 5:16-18
All to His Glory!