Every time I seem to get perilously close to that edge, God shines his presence that much more just to pull my back. Several months ago I had the opportunity to buy tickets for Casting Crowns. The group rate was amazing, but I was worried I might not feel well enough to go. I decided that it probably wouldn’t be that hard to get rid of the ticket if I couldn’t go. The concert was a week and a half after treatment, but that didn’t mean much as I was pretty much down the whole two weeks after my first treatment. Then, it happened… the sun broke through the clouds. No, not the day of, but two days prior to the concert! It was my first good day in 3 weeks, and with the advance, it was enough to build me up for the actual day! What a blessing, and what timing!
The concert was nothing short of amazing…and so were our seats! We had gotten them on groupon, so who knew….who knew that they would practically be FRONT ROW! Ahmazing!!! What was more amazing was how God ministered to my heart, reminding me of his provision and goodness, showing me two important things. One, since chemo started, I have been trying to do this on my own strength rather than his. I can see that. That’s a hard concept to explain…sometimes even harder to live. It’s not something tangible, more of a state of surrender. It should be something we welcome as it means an end to our striving, but it goes against the grain of who we are. From birth, we are raised to be independently minded…self-reliant… and now, now we are to surrender all our efforts to a God whom we cannot see or touch. Ahhh, but when we are able to navigate this paradox, there is great relief! I wish I could lay out a lesson plan…a sure-fire way… but I can’t. Seems my own success rate rarely surpasses 500. I can, however, tell you that it often involves replacing thoughts such as “I can’t” and “this is too hard” with “please help.” And there, in that moment, an intangible God provides a tangible presence. Not that He always fixes, sometimes He just holds.
The other insight He gave me had to do with Peter. I once wrote in a paper how Peter is my kindred spirit. Two peas in a pod we are… two big mouths with even bigger hearts and the best of intentions. And, oh, how we love our Jesus. My favorite scene is when Peter sees Jesus standing on the shore after the resurrection. So overwhelmed and excited, he couldn’t wait on the boat and instead jumped into the water, clumsily making his way to Jesus. How many times, in such glee and excitement have I clumsily made my way to Jesus?! Not recently, recently I have taken to sitting quietly in the boat. Then the bigger realization of another correlation with Sir Peter. Suddenly I saw him standing on the water…and then sink into the waves. Like Peter, when I was first diagnosed I confidently walked on water with my Jesus, but then I took my eyes off of him and fixed them clearly on the news of a recurrent type of cancer. But my confidence lies not in cancer or what it can or cannot do, but what God says He can do…and he said I was His miracle girl! Right on cue, the band began to play Voice of Truth….
Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He’s holding out His hand…..
But the voice of truth tells me a different story The voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!” The voice of truth says, “This is for My glory” Out of all the voices calling out to me I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.