Now that I knew I had cancer, it was time to get busy finding out just how bad it was. (If you haven’t already, read Tamara’s Story: Breast Cancer post #1) The next step was to have biopsies of both breasts. This may seem like no big deal, but for me it was a big deal!
Let’s back up sixteen years. After watching the monitor as they excruciatingly removed two of three pre-cancerous spots with a core needle, I fainted. (My body does not take to any numbing medicine, which makes going to the dentist a major event!) After I came to, I asked them why they didn’t remove the third spot. They replied, “Let’s just see what that one does.” This was a doctor; I was out of pain…I asked no further questions. They told me to come back in six months.
A Year Later
I went back a year later. When the Doctor scolded me for not coming back in six months, I told her that I needed more time to pray about it – which I did diligently. She said, “Well let’s see how your God did.” When she came back into the room she slapped the x-ray on the light and said, “It’s gone.” No words came out of my mouth. My smile was all that was necessary.
Subsequent visits over the years showed no further complications. With every self-exam I would say to God, “You’ve got this, right?”
About six months ago I felt a lump in the other breast. My immediate thought was, “Did I really need to pray for both breasts? I thought that would have been understood.” Real bad, I didn’t want it to be there. Real bad, I didn’t want to go to the doctor and have them do hurtful things to it. Real bad, I wanted God to take it away. For about three months I waited, and told God that I completely trusted Him to get rid of it. You see, I didn’t want to pull an Asa…
And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign. 2 Chronicles 16:12&13
I Wanted to be a Hezekiah…
In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying, I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee. 2 Kings 20:1-5
So here I am back on the biopsy table. The Doctor was very sure I had cancer in one breast. The other one, which I had issues with sixteen years ago, had nothing show up in the 3-D mammogram or ultrasound. They were just checking that one at my request, as I felt something deep inside that one.
To prepare for the pain, this time with the knowledge of cancer in one of them, I went through the file of Bible verses I have memorized over the years. I would recite Psalm 23, Psalm 19 (My fave!) and I would put on the whole armour of God. (Ephesians 6:14-17) I was ready!
God had another plan: another verse. (Maybe one of His faves!) Over and over, as the core needles were digging in, my soul was flooded with, “He is altogether lovely!”
I was simply in awe over this, especially given that the Song Of Solomon was not my favorite book of the Bible, respectfully. At first I thought it was hokey, so I avoided reading it, feeling bad since after all God is the author! Over the years I have found a real appreciation for it. When I realized that it can be understood as symbolically picturing the relationship Jesus has with His bride, the church (which includes me!), it’s actually quite breathtaking.
Reading the Song of Solomon that night was apropos. It is indeed lovely. (I was mildly miffed this time, however, with how often breasts are mentioned – Ha!) Moving on… The bridegroom (Jesus) says this about His bride (His believers), “Thou hast ravished my heart.” Wow! I have ravished the heart of the creator of all things! Selah!
Not Asking Why
I’m not going to ask why the lover of my soul didn’t heal me all those years ago, or in my nephew Jake’s words utter, “What Doin’?” After all, His thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are my ways His ways. (Isaiah 55:8) Instead, I am going to trust in the Lord with all my heart; and lean not unto my own understanding. (Psalm 3:5) My beloved is mine, and I am his (Song of Solomon 2:16)
Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In this time of confusion and uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) once said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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