Monday, March 26, 2012

When Your Arms Grow Weary

But Moses’ hands grew tired. So they took a stone and put it under Moses so he could sit down on it. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on each side of him so that his hands remained steady until sunset. Exodus 17:11,12

Moses was in battle.  As long as he held up his staff, the Israelites would be winning, but if he lowered his arms, they would begin losing.  Sometimes it’s very difficult to fight a battle on your own.  This was certainly true for me these last two weeks.  This last “healing drip” was really difficult on my body.  Perhaps it’s the accumulation of the last three drips, but this one knocked the wind out of me, that’s for sure.  I couldn’t really pray or read or do much of anything but lay in the arms of Jesus.  That’s where my friends came into the picture.  Like Aaron and Hur, they began holding up my hands for me.  When I started running fever, I asked for prayer and about an hour later, the fever lifted.  Through the last couple of weeks, text messages, a gift of a beautiful pink necklace, and e-mails came in to let me know that they were praying for me. 

It’s interesting that when Paul speaks of people praying for him, it’s as if the request was already granted.  “We have set our hope on him that he will rescue us again since you are helping with your prayer for us.  Then many people can thank God on our behalf for the gift that was given to us through the prayers of many people. 2 Corinthians 1:11 Answered prayer is for one purpose—to give glory and honor to God.
So, I thank my friends for their prayers and for lifting up my hands.  I want everyone to know that God has and will “rescue” me from this cancer so that “people can thank God on my behalf for the gift that was given to me through the prayers of many people.”  To God be the glory.  Amen.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Where Does My Strength Come From?

It’s frustrating.  Even though I’m not a very big woman, I’ve always “prided” myself in my ability to get things done.  If I wanted to move the furniture around, I wouldn’t wait for my husband to help; I’d just figure out a way to move it myself.  Coming from a long line of small but strong, pioneer-type women, I learned from an early age to figure out a way to get things done.  But now, it’s not so easy.   My healing drips have pretty well zapped my strength.  This is not easy, and God certainly has a lesson in this for me.

Where does my strength come from?
“I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. He won't let you stumble; your Guardian God won't fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel's Guardian will never doze or sleep. God's your Guardian, right at your side to protect you -Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moon stroke. God guards you from every evil; he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.” Psalm 121 (Message)
“I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit-not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength – Ephesians 3:16
“At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
And then finally………”the joy of the Lord is my strength.”  It’s easy to find joy in the everyday.  Finding that joy actually does make me stronger!  Playing with my grandchildren, planting a beautiful red geranium, getting a shoulder rub from my husband, singing praise and worship at church, or basking in the warm spring sunshine actually does infuse me with a strength that is life-giving and authentic. 
“God is my strength, God is my song, and, yes! God is my salvation. This is the kind of God I have and I'm telling the world! This is the God of my father-I'm spreading the news far and wide!”  Exodus 15:2

Monday, March 12, 2012

Somebody's Prayin'

Yesterday in church, my son sang this song during the offering.  No one except he, my husband, and I fully understood the significance of this song.

Somebody's prayin', I can feel it
Somebody's prayin' for me
Mighty hands are guiding me
To protect me from what I can't see
Lord, I believe, Lord, I believe
Somebody's prayin' for me.

Angels are watchin', I can feel it
Angels are watchin' over me
There's many miles ahead 'til I get home
Still I'm safely kept before your throne
'Cause Lord I believe, Lord I believe
Angels are watchin' over me.

Well, I've walked through barren wilderness
When my pillow was a stone
And I've been through the darkest caverns
Where no light had ever shown.
Still I went on 'cause there was someone
Who was down on their knees
And Lord, I thank you for those people
Prayin' all this time for me.

Somebody's prayin', I can feel it
Somebody's prayin' for me
Mighty hands are guiding me
To protect me from what I can't see
Lord I believe, Lord I believe
Somebody's prayin' for me..

Written by John. G. Elliot

     Over ten years ago, my son recorded that song for his grandmothers.  They were so proud of him and listened to it over and over.  Those grandmothers prayed mightily for him and for all of their grandchildren.  After the grandmothers passed on to heaven, I listened to it and prayed for my son and for my daughters.  
     So much has happened since then; many prayers have been sent to heaven........and now, my children are praying for me.  As I sat in church and listened to those words, I was overcome with their love.
     This song tells it all.  When people say that they are praying for me, it really touches my spirit. It is humbling, but I am so grateful for every one of them. God is moved by the prayers of his saints.  It's just the kind of God He is. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Billboard

In the process of writing for Bible Café, I have received e-mails and comments from so many different women who have been touched by cancer in one way or another.  Some are survivors, their stories a testament to Jehovah Rapha, The God Who Heals, and some have walked this journey with loved ones.  I am humbled and encouraged as I read their stories. 
            When I was first diagnosed, I received an e-mail from a Christian sister.  I did not know her, but my pastor had asked for prayer for me at her church.  She wrote, “We had staff prayer time in our sanctuary today and when I started praying for you the Holy Spirit put a prayer on my lips that nearly made me laugh out loud!  I don’t ever remember praying anything quite like this and it makes me smile even as I type! It went something like this:  “Father, bring healing to Cindy and let it bring glory to Your name.  Let her be a billboard for You so that Your name would be made known through what You do in her life and that Your name might be praised! A billboard – imagine that!  A living, walking sign proclaiming to the world just Who He is!  Reminds me of the Scripture in Habakkuk 2:2 – ‘And then God answered: ‘Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run.’” (MSG)
            Shortly after, Christine from Bible Café, wrote to me to ask if I would share my journey through the eyes of faith.  But, I am not the only one proclaiming and displaying this billboard! It is being displayed all over the world as Christian brothers and sisters live out their faith before friends, family, believers, and unbelievers.  What a testament to living the “real” Christian life.  This week I heard from Fran; she wrote, “The journey is not an easy one, but I never lost sight of Jesus’ face even during the roughest days of chemo side effects. My faith in Jesus has deepened tremendously and my life now depends on total trust in Him. My cancer counts have been normal since my last treatment in November and to Him I give all the Glory. We have an amazing Savior, you and I, and I pray He will use us both for His purpose and His will.”  Thank you, Fran, and to all of my sisters and brothers who have been or are on this journey.  Your faith and words are a gift of God. Yes!  God will get the glory for this!