As I continue on my journey of being diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer, peace can seem illusive. When I allow my mind to go down path A, B or C there are so many variables I can worry about. At this point I am waiting for the results of an MRI. I do not know what path I will walk down. I need to wait for the next step, not think about 3 steps down the road.
A friend of mine talked about claiming peace. I think we get stuck on God giving it – thinking somehow He is going to miraculously make us feel good. God promises to give peace. I think we need to remember to take it. God doesn’t force His free gift of salvation on us. He isn’t going to force us to take the peace He offers. I definitely need the help of the Holy Spirit to make the wise choice. But I shouldn’t blame God when I have chosen to be anxious. That choice is NOT God’s fault. That choice is mine.
As I work at taking one day at a time, I am going to ask God’s help to claim the peace He so readily offers. Peace is a great gift from a loving Heavenly Father. It is mine for the taking.
Dear Heavenly Father, my mind and heart are so prone to anxiety. Please forgive me for my lack of trust. Please help me to claim the peace You so freely give. Thank you for such a great gift that is mine for the taking.
I know I can struggle with being thankful. This week was extra hard. Work is tough with our new computer system issues and I had a coworker out on vacation. I also faced a health issue that went a direction I didn’t want. I was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ. It sounds kind of scary, but in situ is my new favorite term. It means the carcinoma is believed to be contained. I will be facing surgery to remove the tumor and possibly some other treatment after (to be determined based on surgery results).
As I faced this week, I knew I would need God’s grace. This was my first mammogram, and I knew I was likely to need a biopsy. Not an easy thing for this introvert. There is also the emotion of dread if the results are bad. I struggle counting trials joy because it can feel like we have to lie. Brutal honesty – the biopsy wasn’t exactly fun. There were several hard things for my introverted personality during the tests. I didn’t want to take my worry out on the medical professionals providing my care. I spent a lot of time praying, both before and during the appointment. I asked God to show me His grace and make me aware of the ways He sent it. God came through with His usual generosity. My interactions with the medical professionals that day and after have been wonderful. They showed great compassion and care.
When I find it hard to thank God for a mammogram and biopsy or a diagnosis that requires surgery, I can easily thank God for the many evidences of His grace through trials. Medical research shows that thankfulness helps with healing. I will need that in the next weeks.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the kindness, care and compassion that You sent through medical professionals this week. Thank You for friends and family who are joining me on this journey. Thank you for the joy and comfort Your grace provides. Please help me to honor You throughout this journey.
Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends! This time of year brings lots of messages of love. Many of them focus on romantic love. However, there are many aspects of love talked about in the Bible. The Greek word agape means affection or benevolence. The Bible commands us to love (1 Peter 1:22, Galatians 5:13, Ephesians 4:2, John 13:35). 1 Corinthians 13 is a thorough list of how we can show love to one another.
This Valentine’s Day we need to look for ways to show love to everyone we meet. The Bible gives us direction on how we can do that.
Dear Heavenly Father, please help me to live these character traits in front of the people I meet. Please help me to encourage others to do the same. Thank You for sending Jesus to show the ultimate love sacrifice by giving His life. Thank You for the love You show every day.
1. From an old English parsonage, down by the sea, There came in the twilight a message for me; Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven, It has, seems to me, God’s teaching from Heaven. And on through the hours the quiet words ring, Like a low inspiration: “DO THE NEXT THING.”
2. Many a questioning, many a fear, Many a doubt has its quieting here. Moment by moment, let down from Heaven, Time, opportunity, guidance are given. Fear not tomorrows, child of the King, Trust them with Jesus. DO THE NEXT THING.
3. Do it immediately; do it with prayer; Do it reliantly, casting all care; Do it with reverence, tracing Christ’s hand Who placed it before you with earnest command, Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing, Leave all resultings. DO THE NEXT THING.
4. Looking to Jesus, ever serener, Working or suffering, let this be your demeanor. In His dear presence, the rest of His calm, Let the light of Christ’s countenance be your psalm. Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing! Then, as He commands you, DO THE NEXT THING.
This poem was popularized by Elizabeth Elliot. It is loaded with truth. There are difficulties in life. We will not be 100% free from them while we live. God has given us tools to keep moving forward. He has given us His word and other believers to help us along the way. All we need to do is cling to Him and “do the next thing”.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for providing a way to do the next thing. I ask for Your help as many of us are weary and don’t feel as though we can continue. Please give us strength and help us to honor You.