Saturday, April 4, 2015

Responding to The Resurrection

We went to a Third Day concert the other day and there was this awesome singer named Harvest Parker there who stole the show. She told a story about the Moravian missionaries (who were so awesome that this doesn't do them justice, btw) who sold themselves into slavery to reach a group in the West Indies who would not allow preachers or missionaries in. As they were heading out, with no hope to ever return, someone passionately yelled, "May the lamb receive the reward of His suffering", which seems to be a summation of Revelation 5 and is also the summation of our celebration of the resurrection, and of Jesus in general. We are unworthy to receive His sacrifice, but He gave it to us anyway. He did it because He loves us and it's the only way to cleanse us in preparation of eternal life with Him. But our job is not just to receive from Him. It's to glorify Him in all that we do! Here's a link to her song, which is very moving (the one in Tallahassee was even better but I didn't get the whole thing on my phone).

The Lord was already working on my boldness when I heard that, and it was reinforced there. This verse below was also so important to me that I couldn't let it go:

"My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or death." Phil 1:20

Lord, do not let us be put to shame. Our faith is weak, our evil desires are strong, and the pull of the world is powerful. But You are mighty. When we are yoked with you we can do all things through you, and we ask that you will show this to your enemies. Do not let our humanness put us to shame, but guide us and go before us so all men see your power through our testimonies.

Our pastor at Four Oaks, Paul Gilbert, said, "if your conscience isn't clear you don't make a good witness". Lord, thank-you for forgiving our sins, for dying on the cross, and for returning from the grave three days later--thereby fulfilling the prophesies and completing the transactions of submitting your righteousness and bearing our sin. By your stripes we are healed, we are fully forgiven, clear our consciences and guide our steps away from the sin we so readily return to. Help us to be bold for you, to be strong and courageous, and to share your love with meaning and truth!

Lord, help us to trust you with our lives, and with our deaths. Help us to recognize that we are not our own, and to earnestly desire to be used for your glory, whether your plan takes us to the cross or to the mall. Help us to be real, living sacrifices for you, and to go wherever you send us, with perfect peace and profound love. Your way is the only way we desire.

Because, "my eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or death." 


Monday, March 23, 2015

Sin and Sovereignty

Well, the Holy Spirit has used this blog to share His story, His word, and His love to many people throughout the world. And in order to use me as the typist, He found me in my hard, roly poly shell and convinced me to uncurl it. It was scary to show my belly, but He brought so much love, joy, and encouragement from that exposure that I covet the memory as one of my lifelong bests. Yet, over time as the crises and attention were diverted; I rolled back up. Whether it was intentional or not, I have struggled with being open and vulnerable toward God, not just on the blog. I realize now that I blamed receiving the terminal diagnosis, especially that last time, from Dr. Litton, for killing off part of me. But now I recognize that it wasn't what was done to me--I'm not the victim, I'm the villain, but if I cling to Christ now, He will mold me into the victor.

It began a few years ago when I realized, and boasted, that everyone I had heartily prayed for had been healed. Please recognize that my stomach aches as I recognize the pride in that statement. I was on a faith "high", and all five of the terminal people I had prayed for had been healed. All cancer gone. No cancer here. Total remission. Cancer free. No evidence of disease. He healed those people! I should never have claimed some sort of credit for that by attaching my prayers to His work. I desperately want to defend my arrogance, to sugar-coat and explain it away. But, I belittled the God I serve when I took credit for such healings (He had me pray for them, He answered those prayers. It is about Him, not me.). Like when God told Moses to speak to the rock for it to yield water, and instead Moses (pasted below, Numbers 20:8-13) said to the congregation, "shall we bring water for you?" and struck the rock. Moses had the same end game as God's plan, which was to get the water to the people. But he took the credit with his statement and took the glory. For someone who desires to live in order to give God glory, stealing it from Him is the worst sin I can imagine. And, yup, I do believe He rescued me from certain death specifically so I can glorify Him in word and deed. In other words, Mission: Failed.

Proverbs 16:18 is true--pride and a haughty attitude come before a fall, and I guess that was where I tripped big time. I'm sure there were little things leading up to it that I've forgotten about. But after my boasting He stopped answering my prayers. People started suffering more and dying all around me. In fact, two of the people I had believed were healed have since passed away. Of course, my faith wavered, the truths He taught me seemed confounded, the deadness within me grew and I felt unable to control it, but too distracted to care.

Until yesterday that would have been the end of the story. I had deep questions for God and had been praying for Him to help me "feel" again, but I didn't think there was any unrecognized awesome thing He had done. But now He is showing me this and I'm really, really grateful that the Holy Spirit blocked me from trekking further down the dark road I was on... Proverbs 2:13 says wicked men "have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways". He saved me from straying toward a life away from Him, where I would lead His sheep astray. He cares so much for His flock that He protected them from me. And me from me!

God showed me all this in the last hour. It probably doesn't seem like a big deal to outsiders, but He has been preparing me, cultivating this revelation for a long time coming, yet I had no hint of what was going on. I never thought about my pride in that context, just felt like He had abandoned me. And since then I couldn't really "feel" anymore. And I didn't always mind. I was wrong. I was wrong to be prideful. Wrong to embrace the ensuing numbness. Wrong to refuse to face my feelings of abandonment. And in all those wrongs, there was One who was right. All along, God was right! How many times do we tell ourselves, "He has a reason for everything...maybe one day in heaven I'll understand", with no expectation of ever "getting" it? He reveals Himself to us on EARTH, if we just ask, and keep asking, and keep asking, then ask again! He did not abandon me, He protected me! He didn't do it just as a discipline or a test, but for the good of His people. Don't get me wrong, God didn't let sick people die to teach me a lesson, He aligned the timing of all that would happen for the sake of all those touched by it. Every one of us is learning, struggling, being challenged, and growing, simultaneously. He put those people into my life and heart to pray for so I could experience the blessings and lessons from unanswered prayers. And He blessed countless others in praying for the exact same people with the lessons and experiences individualized for them.

THAT is our God. He will not ever leave us nor forsake us. He is closer than a brother. He knows your name and the hairs on your head. He loves you. He loves me. Not in a distant, bored, "dead-inside" type of way. He loves you with the raw and jagged emotion that is sensitive enough to want better for you. And to not overlook your sins and struggles because it would be easier in the short run. Hallelujah to Jesus Christ, our Savior, who lived the perfect life, suffered more than we can ever understand, and carried our burdens and shame. He dragged my pride along with the cross and I was forgiven for it at Calvary. Because after He rose from the grave He ascended into heaven where He intercedes for me. He was already punished for every one of my sins, and loves me anyway! He accepts me, even though it's hard to accept myself these days. I am not worthy of His love, His sacrifice, His forgiveness, or His company. Even if I finally get it together and become closer to perfect, I will need a living sacrifice for when I fall short. Before Jesus came, the priests who atoned for the sins of the people walked back and forth all day, offering the sacrifices to the Lord, because the sins were endless. Jesus did it once, and nothing can be added or taken from that. All we can do is accept it. No matter how awful or great you are, you need a living sacrifice, and He is waiting for your prayer! The angels rejoice when a sinner turns to Him (Luke 15:10). If you aren't sure that you've ever made those angels sing, do it now--ask Him to be your true Lord and to dwell within you. And ask Him to alert the angels!


Numbers 20:8-13 (referenced in second paragraph)
“Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” And Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he commanded him. Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?”,  And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock.  And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.”  These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and through them he showed himself holy."

Friday, March 20, 2015

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."


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Faith for Glory

I've been treasuring something in my heart, I guess the way Mary did when Jesus delighted and surprised her--before He proved Himself to the world. It's a doozy to me, but part of that is the timeliness of the revelation amongst the general struggles I've had. So, over the past few years my faith peaked, and has since faltered a bit. The peak lasted between my own healing and Debora's, and I saw all things of God through a different lens--one I never knew existed. You know, faith is the "assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb 11:1)". When I was healed that took on new meaning, I discovered that God was so much bigger than the things we could see or understand, and that He would and does do more than we can see or understand. But, after the peak came the fall, where I witnessed less and less of His awesomeness and therefore have come to expect less and less of Him.

Some would say this lowered expectation of God is a more appropriate guideline. That it's arrogant or ignorant to expect more of Him in this day and age. It's certainly easier to fit that "God" into my schema and life. People don't need you to explain or convince them to have faith in a God who helps our but isn't a real Helper. That "God" is simple enough for humans without the Holy Spirit to understand. You don't get disappointed by the One who Can answer but choose not to. I don't cry as much this way. Don't feel the need to lie prostrate on the floor before the Almighty God and plead for the needs of the people He created...

The burden might seem lifted when the only real prayer you say in a day is, "Your will be done", right? Because it doesn't bind us with the desires of our hearts. It pawns off the responsibility of intercessory love so we can get back to the hard work He has called us to.

But...that's not real faith. That's trusting in ourselves and hoping in a god as powerful as a turbo boost of good luck.

That's not the God we serve.

We serve the One who created us. Who chose us, delights in us, rescues us, heals us, helps us, guides us, intercedes for us, who became flesh for us, who was cursed and hung on a tree for us, forgave us, and loves us. He loves us too well for us to overlook the hard parts of His calling and our faith. I will choose to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16), I will declare the works I have known Him to do, and I will not belittle Him by expecting things like that to end.

Jesus did many miracles and healed many in the gospels. Some say He doesn't do that stuff anymore, but I'm living proof that He does. He is glorified when people see His hand at work like that. And He was in the healing business before He became flesh. In Numbers 12, Miriam complained about her brother Miriam. That was particularly offensive to God because it was like grumbling against Him. He punished her with leprosy, which would get her put out of the camp and eventually would be the end of her. Moses did NOT say, "Oh gracious God, your will be done!", or, "Thank you for punishing her, she really hurt my feelings and obviously she deserved it." Nope. This man, who God had just said is "faithful in all my house...and he beholds the form of the Lord" (12:7) saw the leprosy and "cried out to the Lord, 'O God, please heal her--please". We know this is a foreshadowing of how Jesus would pray for the lost from His place on the cross. But it was literal in this case regarding physical healing as well--God answered Moses' prayer.

God didn't look down on Moses for praying that way, Later he is described as the most humble man who ever lived. So it's not prideful to pray like that. Not faithless to ask for miracles. He set a great example and it's our job to follow it.

With that said, please join me in praying in faith for total healing for Lyn, Julie, Karen, and another unnamed friend, all with stage 4 cancer. Lyn has a PET scan tomorrow (Monday), and expects to get the results Wednesday. I noticed that Moses and all the sick people who Jesus and the disciples healed were not expected to explain why they wanted the healing. Perhaps it's because the reasons don't matter That every person is equally valuable to the God who doesn't show favoritism. And because it doesn't matter how righteous we are, we don't deserve His salvation, healing, or anything else. But He blesses us with it anyway, because Jesus bore our sins. In Psalm 116:5, it says the death of every saint is precious to God. He cares about our lives and deaths! I'm not suggesting that life on earth is any better than eternity in heaven. But these ladies all have the desire to stay on earth longer, and I ask that we pray for His supernatural healing, not for the sake of their great doctors, but in spite of the doctors, for the sake of our precious, perfect father. May they be healed fully, in such a way that the One who does it receives the credit. To Him be the glory!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Healing Day!

We've always celebrated major holidays and birthdays. Yaacov and I started dating and were married in summertime. So why on earth did Groundhog's Day skyrocket to the top of my favorite days' list? It's the anniversary of the day we learned about my healing!!! The third anniversary, in fact! It was such a perfect reminder of the Lord's gracious, precious love for me! And of His love for Yaacov and our girls! 

Every thing about that day was perfect. I have goosebumps remembering when I got to call so many people to tell them I was healed. And to think how much I wanted to keep the whole illness a secret at the beginning. I don't even like talking on the phone, but God put it on my heart so I had prayed and begged for such an opportunity. It was hard to keep it together enough to get the words out. And the next day...the next day!!! I went to pick Abi's preschool, all the teachers and staff had heard the news and ran into the hallway to applaud. That was one of the first times anyone had ever clapped for me. It would normally be embarrassing, but it was joyous and precious. How many people have ever gotten a terminal diagnosis that resulted in an entire preschool cheering for God? How many people have ever been worthy of a blessing like that? Only Jesus. 

Revelation 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

Sweet, sweet Jesus. The sinless lamb. The perfect one, who died for my sins and loves me anyway. He intercedes for me and has blessed me more than He was blessed on earth. Sure, He was loved deeply and worshipped, but He was still abandoned and betrayed without just cause. And I complain about a few unanswered prayers.

I spent the day with the girls, reminiscing about the highs and lows. This year felt extra meaningful because Naomi is the age now that Abi was when I was diagnosed. It's like I'm living it again, but with the joy flowing more easily this time around. There are other similarities, too. I remember how Naomi stopped sleeping through the night when I was diagnosed, and every day at 2 am she would cry until I rocked her. She would sleep on my shoulder while I cried. Every night. After cancer I got her to sleep through the night again, but now we are working on nighttime potty training. In the middle of each night I wake her up and carry her on that same shoulder to the bathroom. The conditions now are completely different, but every time she rests her sleepy head on my shoulder for the walk down the hall, all the emotions come flooding back. My cup overflows. My joy is complete.

Psalm 23:5-6
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

It seems like all my posts lately have been lamenting tragedy and heartache. My foolish flesh observes worldly devastation and wonders aloud where God is. Why He stopped caring. It's written evidence of my own short sighted selfishness. How quick I am to forget! How weak my faith is to wonder. And to wander. He hasn't left us. He doesn't change. He didn't reach His quota of miracles and move on to punishing the world. The same God who healed me is still alive. His word is true. And truth is in the word. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. 

Ecclesiastes 3:14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.

I'm including pictures this time around. The first is Abi and me when we found out I was healed, 2/2/12. I couldn't find the digital file so it's from our scrapbook:
We tried to re-create the 2012 pic today so I'm in the same outfit, and Naomi is wearing the shirt Abi had on that day. Clearly there are some other inconsistencies but it's still sweet:
The others are just fun:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

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.



Saturday, January 10, 2015

Oceans and Agony


I wonder what Paul's third heaven is (2 Corinthians 12:2). I feel like I'm caught up between worlds myself. I'm looking out, not really part of this one, but the other one I'm floating in so vague and unclear. I'm pretty sure the other place I'm stuck in isn't a heaven of any sort though...

I talk and write about Him from my scarlet viewpoint. I'm a worthless, double-minded, forgetful sinner, looking up to the One who Knows. The One (the ONLY ONE) who sees my empty pockets and the filthy rags I cover myself with. But when I lift my eyes to Him He meets my gaze and smiles. He scoops me up with both arms, because it is not the things I can offer, but my self that He wants. He doesn't ask where I've been, but receives me with joy! 

His love is true. His Word is true. His Son is real and His testimony does not change. He made the heavens and the earth. He created life out of nothing, and continues to do that each day. He gives us days and numbers them. He gives and takes away, and He heals our broken hearts and our broken bodies. 

His love knows no bounds, so why does it tarry so? Three of our beloved sisters who were once healed are now suffering with their original disease. One is too many! Where is our Rescuer right now? The enemy wreaks havoc and evidence of his destruction is all around, like an untouchable villain on the war path... while the unanswered prayers of the saints plead in unison as a soundtrack of this tragic story. This is a great opportunity for them to grow in their faith, I know. It is a special privilege for us to persevere in prayer, yes. God will not allow anyone who trusts in Him to be put to shame (Ps 95:1-3), true. But it is impossible to go on with the same confidence when you were once testifying about His healing and then the cancer comes back. The natural thing for all of us to do when we are re-diagnosed (or it recurs/spreads, depending) is to quit. Quit boasting of the Holy Spirit's power. Don't dare to ask for and expect another miracle; We remember that God numbers our days and agree with the doctors that that number is small. It is easiest to accept it and thank Him for the good days we had. Because it took every fiber of our being to beg for healing, to believe it, to rejoice in it, to live life as a healed person, to testify about our healing, and then to get the bad news. How can we face the naysayers who never  believed in the first place? How do we quiet the mocking whispers that taunt, "It was all a sham. You were never healed. Your 'God' never healed you." Or, if we continue to stand strong with the truth of the original healing we remember, "I never knew anyone else who was healed even once, twice could never happen.". So we crawl under the covers. We hide our pain, embarrassment, and cover our shame with makeup and smiles. But our questions and doubts continually plague us until we water down our faith with weak, political sounding niceties that leave no doubt that the miracles we experienced will be rarely remembered, the once vibrant testimony and faith we had dissolve.

I think of the Tennyson quote, "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." In my flesh I think the opposite is true for healing. It feels like it would be better for all of us to have never been healed at all than to go through the agony of having been healed and then "lose" it. But somewhere in the depths of my dark, wounded soul, as I struggle to crawl back to the foot of the cross, I find the truth: It is better for these ladies to have been healed, to experience the faith-building freedom from such a huge answered prayer, yet to struggle with the disease again, than it is to have never experienced that at all. It changes us. It's incomprehensible. It allows us to "know" Him in a way that we could never get to before. And it provides an incomparable testimony that glorifies Him and continues to spread long after we are around. Moreover, it is better to have been healed because it was His decision. He has the plan, He did it, and His way really is the best way. It will strengthen their faith in some way to deal with their new problems, whether it is to enjoy as He heals them again, or to be dealt with in other ways. And finally, it may be true that it is impossible to go on after a bombshell like this, but the truth will ALWAYS remain: "All things that are impossible with men are possible with God." (Luke 18:27, that was on the cake we ate to celebrate my own healing, by the way).

So, what more is there to say? John 10:27-28, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand." The Rescuer came before, and He will come again. We don't know when. Maybe it will be today. Please pray for the power of the perfect Holy Spirit to show Himself within these women's bodies. Pray for their faith, strength, and total healing.

I might have posted this before. It's my favorite song. I thought I was the only one who had discovered it, but I guess when I was in my lala land it was released to the rest of the world. Anyway, the hyperlink will take you to the song itself. I wonder if anyone could really hear this song and not be moved. Like, lock yourself in a dark room with no distractions, close your eyes and listen to it, and if you aren't moved, send me a detailed note so I can try to understand.

Oceans by Hillsong United

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise my soul will rest in your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and you won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine