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Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

“Congratulations on your miracle!”

These words from a friend’s doctor brought great rejoicing.  That doctor had told my friend it would be a miracle if she got pregnant.  And now she was pregnant.

Her response:  “Thank You, Lord.  Thank You so much!!”

It’s easy and natural to thank God when the news is what we want.

But it is not so easy for a 13-year-old boy I know.  He struggled through a year of chemo for a spinal cord cancer.  After three years cancer free, he just discovered it has returned.  How does he say “Thank You, Lord”?

Another friend has buried 2 loved ones in the past year. Saying “Thank You, Lord” has not been easy.

Other friends, for whose prodigal we have prayed, recently called to say their child took her own life. “Thank You, Lord?”

We know the verses:

“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:18)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation…with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

In all circumstances, in every situation: Give thanks.

Easy to do when the news is good. So challenging when the news is not what we want to hear.

How can God ask such a thing? What kind of impossible requirement is that?

The answer is: God is God and God is good.

Sounds simple, glib, out of touch with reality.

But it is true. I know it because God says it. And I have proved it. Over a (now long) lifetime, I have seen it true over and over.

In fact, I have found those two words—Thank You—spoken to God are the key to amazing changes:

God seems bigger. He isn’t bigger–He is already the biggest. But He grows in my understanding and perspective. I begin to grasp that He truly is God—in control of the universe and my life—and He truly is always looking for ways to do good to me.

My heart changes. The fear, anger, confusion lessen and peace begins to grow.

Doors open. The key that is “Thank You” opens my heart and mind to see good that God is doing, to recognize opportunities, to trust God’s love and goodness at a much deeper level.

For years I have practiced saying “Thank You, Lord.” Now, when little or big challenges come, my first response is almost always “Thank You, Lord.” Almost always. Still not easy. But oh how it protects and encourages and frees my heart and my mind.

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13)

What about you?  What has challenged your willingness to say “Thank You, Lord”?

C2012 Judy Douglass

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Wow!

The doctor kept saying wow!

It was good news! Our son-in-love Nick, who has an auto-immune liver condition that almost killed him over a year ago and for which the only cure is a transplant, just finished his first Mayo check-up in a year. All the reports came back good—equal to or better than a year ago. The doctor’s response: I didn’t expect you to be so healthy.

Our response: Thank You, Lord. Praise God! So grateful!

It was not hard for us to thank God for this Wow!

But my friend Marie—she is young—just got a report that she has colon cancer. Young people aren’t supposed to get colon cancer. Can she say, Thank You, Lord?

Another friend has buried 2 loved ones in the past year. Saying Thank You, Lord has not been easy.

Other friends, for whose prodigal we have prayed, recently called to say their child took her own life. Thank You, Lord?

We know the verses:

“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:18)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation…with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

In all circumstances, in every situation: Give thanks.

Easy to do when the news is good. So challenging when the news is not what we want to hear.

How can God ask such a thing? What kind of impossible requirement is that?

The answer is: God is God and God is good.

Sounds simple, glib, out of touch with reality.

But it is true. I know it because God says it. And I have proved it. Over a (now long) lifetime, I have seen it true over and over.

In fact, I have found those two words—Thank You—spoken to God are the key to amazing changes:

God seems bigger. He isn’t bigger–He is already the biggest. But He grows in my understanding and perspective. I begin to grasp that He truly is God—in control of the universe and my life—and He truly is always looking for ways to do good to me.

My heart changes. The fear, anger, confusion lessen and peace grows.

Doors open. The key that is “Thank You” opens my heart and mind to see good that God is doing, to recognize opportunities, to trust God’s love and goodness at a much deeper level.

For years I have practiced saying “Thank You, Lord.” Now, when little or big challenges come, my first response is almost always “Thank You, Lord.” Almost always. Still not easy. But oh how it protects and encourages and frees my heart and my mind.

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13)

 

C2011 Judy Douglass

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How do you say good-bye to a child?

I just watched the memorial service for 5-year-old Ava Hunter, daughter of Josh and Lisa, granddaughter of Joel and Becky.   I am deeply touched by the emotion, the tears, the faith, the pain, the humor, the hope that were expressed in this celebration of little Ava.

A few thoughts from the family:

Josh Hunter: “ Nothing but time.”  Josh shared poignant words about the time they had, about desiring more time.  And now she lives beyond time.

Lisa Hunter:   We will have to learn to journey through this life without her.  She loved to dance and run, and I can picture her dancing and running and leaping—with Jesus.

Isaac Hunter:  Blessed are those who mourn—we mourn because we were blessed to know Ava.  We were blessed by her kindness and her love and her faith.  We were blessed by her courage—she had moxie.  Even when the cancer bully was invisible and seemingly invincible within her, she stood right up to it.

Blessed are those who mourn, because they shall be comforted.  Comfort comes in Christ Himself, and in the assurance that one day God will set the world—in us and around us—to right.  Then there will be no more mourning.

Joel Hunter:  Ava’s life changed people.  Her death reminds us to treasure each moment with children, family and friends.  God is not here to grant us whatever we want, but to grant us intimacy when we don’t get what we want.  We must be able to say with Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

Five years of joyful memories.  A beautiful good-bye.  Time and longing in the days ahead.  And sure hope of Ava’s freedom now and a glorious reunion with her and our Lord who comforts and redeems us.

You can watch Ava’s memorial service online at

http://www.northlandchurch.net/ava/

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