This time 2 years ago I had just come out of a trial and then several months later I found myself in another. We had just come out of Joel’s time of his paralysis and God’s amazing miracle of restoring his body. We were so thankful and greatly rejoicing in God’s faithfulness. It was now summer and I was getting ready to take my mom and dad up to Canada for vacation. The rest of the family was already there awaiting our arrival. We were all looking so forward to being together as a family and celebrate God’s creation at Aylen Lake. That’s when the doctor called. The tests results were in and dad was diagnosed with the dreaded “C” word…liver cancer. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach and wanted to throw up. The doctor recommended that we stay back so he could start treatments right away. I immediately wanted Eric and the kids to come home so they could comfort me. I was so torn because I wanted comfort but I didn’t want them to have to return home after 3days. It was a daily battle.
The next week I stayed with my parents. However, I needed an emotional break. I returned home and met with my precious brother in Christ, Tom Preble. I cried and shared my hurting heart. I was wrecked by the diagnosis of my dad and I was torn with putting pressure on Eric to come home and pressure not to expect that. Tom was so ever so gentle with his words and just reminded me that I was wanting something that not even Eric could give me but only God. God was who I needed to turn to for comfort. He was right! That night I felt the embrace and love of God that I needed. What a Papa!
My sister in law then introduced me to a sweet friend and we met for lunch after church. I shared the news with her and she told me that it was vital for me to find one scripture. “Find a scripture that the Lord gives you, memorize it and hold tight to it.” I took her advice and immediately went to the bible. The Lord gave me Philippians 4:6-7. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication make your requests know to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The first part of the verse I had to repeat constantly and really meditate on it. I was anxious, my mom and dad had anxiety, the kids had anxiety. I was surrounded by anxiety. Anxiety and worry do their best to immobilize followers of Christ. I became anxious about the moment and the future of what could possibly happen. But Paul tells us in this scripture to be anxious for nothing but through prayer and supplication (ask God for something, usually for the benefit of someone else, in a humble manner), with THANKSGIVING…., make your request known to God. When we give our anxiety to God He replaces it with peace. It’s a peace that we can’t comprehend because it makes no sense. Did I still have anxiety, Yes! It was a constant battle. But it was what I did with it when it came that made all the difference. When it would come I would repeat and meditate on this scripture. I couldn’t comprehend or explain how it worked but God’s peace would come. With thanksgiving, I thanked Papa for His peace even though I didn’t know what the outcome would be.
When you are experiencing a trial find a scripture that speaks to your heart and a “yes” and “amen” wells up in your heart. Memorize it and repeat it slowly pondering each word and how each word can bring life to your situation. I end with John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
Children’s Ministry Director