One of the aspects of Andrea having cancer has been the struggle between hoping for and knowing God could cure her, and finally that God would cure her.
In the past I felt I was being tossed back and forth between believing God would heal Andrea and the idea that it may be God's will for her to die. Can I ask and believe for healing when I know He is sovereign and in control? Andrea’s doctor first told us he hoped to sustain her and manage the cancer until a cure was found. I have struggled with days of great hope and days of fear and sadness. I know God can heal but will he? What triggers His healing? Is there something I need to do? Is there a prayer I have missed or a sin I have not confessed? I don't think I could not prayer any harder. Yet we still fight this cancer, and it still pursues us relentlessly. Why does she have to have chemo again? Why is she sick again? Is there a purpose in loosing her hair a third time? We grow tired just being sick. But this past week when Andrea was in the ICU God told me just have faith in Him, not a result. “Have faith that I love you. Trust me; I am God your creator. Stop linking your faith to your joy.” Faith is not conditional.
I had to stop thinking God loves me when I get what I want from my prayers, and stop getting confused and when it does not go the way I thought it would or should have gone. My faith is in God, the God that I have served and the God I know. He is still there in spite of this cancer and the continuing trail. He is not defined by my circumstances, He is just God, and He loves Andrea more then I do. I am still thinking this through and trying to understand it all. I thought of James 1:5-7
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;
That is what I felt like, like I was being tossed around in my faith, back and forth based on a doctor’s report or how Andrea felt. It had to end because I was exhausted and confusing myself. There is a great freedom in releasing this to God and just trusting Him, not for an outcome but just trusting Him. Having faith in Him and who He is by reading the bible and knowing and learning more about the God we serve. He is unchanging and His love in unfailing. I have to stop and think when my praises flowing from a thought of healing and just let my praises flow from me to my God. Not attached to anything other then I was lost and now I’m saved. I knew somehow this all fits, He can not contradict Himself. He is not good or bad based on what I get. I will have joy and grief but that does not motivate or de-motivate my faith and praise.
I could wish we never had to deal with this and our life was like those around us who go on about there daily lives "normally." But I'm thankful my faith has grown in ways not possible in a "normal" life. At times I feel sorry for those who have not experienced such an intense trial or God in this way. I was one of them. The things I am learning are eternal. What has true value is not of this world. I want to stand before Christ and have Him say "Well done good and faithful servant,” well done with what I was given, with the talents He gave me, with the time He gave me with the suffering we endured. I believe we have the strongest witness in suffering because our strength is supernatural, it in not from man, it is not from my will power, or internal strength. It is not guts or toughness but weakness displaying God’s strength, and He deserves the praise. And that is what makes it such a powerful witness. I see this as an opportunity to witness for Christ. Not that I would have asked for this or chosen it. I want my life to be lived as a reflection of the greatest gift of all, salvation. I told Andrea all we are fighting for is a few more years on earth, and this life will end, we will face death again. If we are given a reprieve it will only be temporally. And when we are together again in eternity, any time apart will be a like a second to us, as if we are looking back to a minute of life when we were 20 yrs old. We will hardly remember any sadness the moment we leave these fleshly bodies and we are with the Lord. We won't look back with any sadness. I know this life will not be easy, but we have a source of strength that comes from knowing we are serving our savior who also had to face His own trial to bring us salvation. It is real and it is powerful. Life will not be easy but we are no longer slaves to sin, we are no longer defeated. I know that if Andrea is taken to be with the Lord I will grieve. God made us one flesh from two and there is pain in separation and I still feel that grief come over me when I see her so sick. But I can not let it affect my faith in God and who he is. He still loves me, and Andrea. I just need to trust Him and keep my faith in Him. It is not easy, it is not a one time decision and I'm done, I won't learn it one time and have it for life. But it is true. I don't get caught up in, "Did God cause this cancer, or is it sin or punishment." The reason does not matter as much as my response to it. I know God will teach me and lead me through this if I listen. And I may not like the path I'm on or would have never chosen it myself but I know He is with me. Satan attacks us in many ways and tries to steal from us, but he can not take from us the security of our salvation or internal strength.
I have found it helps to find a quite place to just pray and listen, even when I don't feel like praying, when I'm too tired to speak.
Have faith that God loves us
Have faith that Jesus died for us
Have faith that He sits at the Fathers right hand
Have faith that through His shed blood we have forgiveness of sins
Have faith that we will live forever with Him
Have faith that the same god who sustained David for 15 yrs of running from Saul is with us
Have faith that the same God who was with Joseph in the well is with us
Have faith that the God that sustained Paul in prison is with us
Have faith that the same power that raised Christ from the grave is in us
Have faith that the Holy Spirit who is one with the father is in us
Have faith that we have all the rights as a son and daughter of God
Have faith that we will be with Him one day
Have faith that He is with us in this pain, by our side, giving His angles charge over us
Have faith that He created the heavens
Have faith that none of this is a surprise to Him
Have faith that He has a plan for us
Have faith that Christ feels our pain and understands
Have faith that God is in control
Have faith that no one loves us more then God