Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Part of God's Plan

I am determined to get outside today. To enjoy the sunshine and the fresh air from our back deck. The world seems to pass me by as I sit here on the recliner or lie here on the sofa bed. There is so much I would like to do. So many people I would like to see. But I have to be content, learn to be patient, to wait upon the Lord. He knows my circumstances. He knows what I can handle. He will give me opportunities, as he sees fit.

I have come to realize that my suffering is no greater than that of anyone else. We all suffer. We all receive comfort and hope so that we can, in turn, provide comfort and hope for others. Hope in Jesus Christ. Today, we will all go through trials that test our faith and cause us to make a choice - a choice to trust our Heavenly Father, or to recoil under the pressure. We all share a common experience. The details may vary, but the purpose is the same.

I read yesterday that there are only about 150 new cases of Ewing's sarcoma a year in the United States. Out of these new cases, only a handful are over the age of 20. I guess I am an anomaly. But most of my friends and family already knew that!

Folks from the online Ewing's sarcoma group are abuzz with a new report that researchers have discovered a molecular mechanism by which Ewing's cells mutate and multiply [Ewings is caused by a transmutation, or shuffling, of two chromosomes]. There is hope, yet there is the realization that there are years in between such a discovery and a practical treatment for patients. This gap produces discouragement. Many will continue to watch there loved ones suffer and die from this disease.

I am reminded that while God has given man the ability to discover and create, our ultimate hope is not in the ability of man but in God Himself. He is sovereign. He alone is in control. While statistics favor cancer, God is able to heal and to save as He wills. I do not completely understand His ways, but I put it under the category of grace. He chooses who He will heal and who He will save. Not because of anything we have done, but because of His mercy and grace.

Increasingly, I see my need not only for God Himself, but for other people. For the past few days, I have been trying to read Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands by Paul David Tripp. In this book, he describes us as people in need of change helping people in need of change. God created us and redeemed us so that we can be engaged in personal biblical ministry - encouraging each other to see our lives as part os God's sovereign plan of redemption. It is a refreshing view of the "It's not about me" theme.

I need the encouragement of others. I need others to help keep me focused on the things of God. I am thankful for those who take time to visit, to write, to call, and to e-mail. And I need to be encouraging others. Although that is sometimes difficult from the confines of my living room, I can pick up the phone or write a letter, or, most conveniently, send off an e-mail. All of this reminds me of the importance of prayer and the importance of words.

We must use our opportunities to point others to God's truth, found in His Word. To point others to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, who gives life. Otherwise, our words are spoken in vain. All meaningless. Nothing but vapor.

I have rambled. My writing accurately reflects my thinking patterns these days. These patterns need to be redeemed for God's glory. My mind needs to be continually renewed. So I pray. I immerse myself in the Word of God. I read good books. And I listen to those that God has placed in my life as instruments of change. For being included in God's process, part of His sovereign plan of redemption, I am truly thankful.


Maddie said...

I just want to keep encouraging you. Ask God for strength. He will give you enough to do what is most important for this day.

when I was going through radiation with chemo, I started to really tire after the second week. By the fourth week, I spent a lot of time in the recliner. The last three weeks and the next month I was pretty much napping in the recliner or bed. It was Christmas time, and I really wanted to be present with my kids while they were on break from school.

What I did the most was read, nothing heavy as I could not process it. I read to my son, read some light material, magazines, Christmas stories. And you know what, my kids enjoyed vacation with me just fine. My husband went and picked out a tree with the kids. I came down and watched them decorate. It worked out fine.

What I know now is that even though I wanted to do more, God provided me with all the energy to do enough.

I pray he grants you enough energy to be present in today and live well enough with your family.

Oh, I still pray to live to see my son graduate high school, too. He is only in first grade, 7 years old. It's OK to ask God. I also know I am in his hands. It is truly His Will. Sometimes it is hard to just be fully present and not worry, but I try. All we can do is try. We are imperfect humans, doing the best we can to live like Jesus.

Blessings over you and your family.

Maddie said...

I signed in using my daughter's email account. If you should ever want to email since we are both close to each other, please do. I live over in Damascus. Sometimes it is helpful to email or talk with another who has similar struggles, maybe the same idea as AA.

Clare Adams

Anonymous said...

I want you to know that you (and your family) have become a DAILY encouragement to me and our family. When things seem difficult, as they sometimes can, I am very uplifted by the focus you have on Jesus. Real comfort verses for me is found in Lamentations 3: 22-23.
'It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. they are NEW every morning: great is thy faithfulness."

You may be sitting in one spot, but your refreshing reminders to keep our eyes on Jesus are moving around in many places.

Thank you from all of us -- and showers of blessings to you and your family.

marilyn and bob mcdonough
some of your HGT friends

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