Friday, November 16, 2012


(Articles between now and Thanksgiving will be based on questions to ask yourself so you can prepare your heart to truly be thankful. They are written by different women in our church. You may want to read the first one, Preparing for Thanksgiving, by Christie Smith.


It’s 2012. I’m 59 years old and have been married 37 years. My two babies now have babies of their own. My husband and I have been through births and deaths and marriages, the terrible twos and teenage rebellion, the first day of kindergarten and the last day of college, looking for a job and the uncertainty of keeping a job, helping our children with their children and helping care for our aging parents. And now, we are experiencing difficulty and pain on a level we’ve never experienced before: our 4 yr. old granddaughter was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor on a Monday and had surgery on Thursday. Almost immediately she went to St. Jude for radiation and chemo. The fear (no, more like terror and panic)…the helplessness-knowing I can’t fix this for her or her mommy and daddy…the literal pain in the stomach and heart…the roller coaster-super sonic speed of events…the desire to wake up and realize this has all been a horrible nightmare.

So, have my beliefs served me well? Are they real now that something really bad is happening? What are my beliefs?

I believe God is good and loving and has a plan.
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Ps. 84:11 – “No good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”
Prov. 3:33 – “He blesses the home of the righteous.”
Jer. 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Rom. 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

I believe bad, sorrowful things happen, but I can choose to respond with trust, believing God’s got this (and me).
John 16:33 – “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Job 1:21 – “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Gen. 50:20 – “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.”

I believe God loves me and wants me to run to Him and find my comfort in Him. 
Ps. 23:1 – “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” 
Ps. 47: 5 – “Why are you so downcast, O my soul? Put your hope in God.” 
Ps. 46:1 – “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
Ps. 56:3 – “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.”
I Pet. 5:7 – “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

I believe God will give me strength to face the darkest trial.
Ps. 73:26 – “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Phil. 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
Ps. 112:7 – He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” 
Is. 33:2 – “O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.”

I believe God gives me hope to ask for anything from Him – I personalize these by putting my granddaughter’s name in the scripture.
Matt. 21:22 – “And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.”
Ps. 91:14-16 – “Because he loves me…I will rescue him. I will protect him…I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Ps. 138:8 – “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.”

I believe God gives me hope and joy regardless of my circumstances.
Rom. 15:13 – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

I believe God is able to do the miraculous.
Eph. 3:20 – “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…”
John 16:33 – “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

So why am I not responding in anger and bitterness? Well, frankly, because I’ve been there, done that, and wasn’t any happier because of it. I was miserable and made everybody else around me miserable, too. Plus, I’ve learned that angry, miserable people are never great advertisements for Christianity. In receiving this event as something God has allowed and wants to use for His glory, I’ve discovered some things that are beyond understanding, but I’ve experienced them nonetheless:

I’ve discovered that I cannot pray and feel terror at the same time. And when I do pray about what terrifies me most, God gives me peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 - “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
II Cor. 10:5 – “…and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

I’ve discovered when I suffer, I become more intimate with Christ.
Philippians 3:10 – “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”

I have a greater appreciation for my salvation, for God allowing the death of his son, and for Jesus willingly giving his life for me.

I have a greater empathy for hurting people and am more aware of the impact of my prayers for them.

I’m learning to actually thank God. It takes pure willpower and choice...every time. It is never ever in my feelings to do it. But I know that a life of thanksgiving is God’s will.
I Thessalonians 5:18 – “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Psalm 50:23 – “He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.”
Eph. 5:20 – “And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

When I choose to thank God, I receive his peace.
Phil. 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Col. 3:15 – “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts…And be thankful.”

God refines me through difficulties and brings Himself glory.
Is. 48:10-11 – “See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.”
II Cor. 4:11 – “For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.”
II Cor. 4:17 – “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

So again, the question before me is DO MY BELIEFS SERVE ME WELL? The better question might be CAN I TRUST GOD?
I'm pretty sure that this is just the beginning of a long, difficult time period for my family. So I would appreciate your prayers for a miracle for our granddaughter and for us all to remain faithful, no matter what the circumstances. I have seen my God prove Himself faithful in the past and right now at the beginning of this storm. I can only believe He will continue to be faithful and give me comfort, hope, encouragement, faith, purpose, a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ, eternal life, a worthy testimony, and peace all the way through to the other side.

1 comment:

  1. I copied, pasted, and sent this to my SS class. Well done.