Friday, May 27, 2011

No Go for Go-Around

Sometimes we get a free pass. Our prayers are immediately answered in the way we thought was best and the lesson wasn't too painful or too costly. We get to experience grace and mercy in its ultimate form. It feels good to get a 'go-around'.

In other seasons of our lives we endure a 'go-through'. The mountain is not moving, the fire gets hotter and the only way to get where you need to be is put on your big boots and go on a serious mountaineering mission.

I know, without a doubt, we have the A-Team praying over Lance's cancer. Seriously! All around the world from India to Africa, from Europe to the U.S., we have God's faithful all over our case. And we are not seeing a miracle. We do not even have a best case scenario. We are still on the mountain climb and the switchbacks are getting steeper.

I know, without a doubt, we have the faith for a miracle!

In my collective faith experience I have personally witnessed MANY instant healings. I'm not talking about a headache being cured, or a stomach ache going away (although I've seen that, too!).

I am talking about the lame walking and the blind seeing! I can tell you an hours worth of stories about the blind getting their sight returned!

It is not for lack of faith in Lance's case. My spirit is settled with that.

From the beginning of our journey I have had a sense in my spirit that we were a 'No go for a go-around'. This experience is one of deep emotional and spiritual refining.

As we prayerfully consider each step, like a rock climber examines each and every hand and foothold, we, too, examine each and every thought, attitude, emotion and treatment option.

As I get ready to return to India at the end of June (more on that soon!) I continue to wrestle with leaving Lance right in the midst of his radiation and chemo treatments. And as much as I wrestle with being gone, I also rejoice in the fact that my absence gives others the chance to step up on the mountain to help while I am continuing the work God has called me to do.

We often equate the "mountain top experience" as the ultimate joy - the best and most gratifying times in our life and the "valley experience" as our ultimate low.

I have to confess that I am beginning to discover how to stay on the plain. Where the valleys rise and the mountains lower and your foot hold is strong and sure no matter the terrain in front of you.

The 'go-through' is not so bad when your eyes are on the 'perfecting and finishing of your faith'. Stepping on the mountain, using your faith muscles to flatten it, is extremely empowering. By the Spirit of God living in me, I am more than a conqueror and so are you!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Worth the Trouble

I thought I would be a better blogger. Really, I did. But it's a little tough to keep up the pace when I have so many other plates spinning.

I have had this recurring vision of my life. It consists of about 10 white plates spinning on long poles on a pitch-black stage. There are bright beams of light directed over each plate. They spin and spin and eventually, one or more at a time will begin to wobble.

The other part of the vision is me running from plate to plate. As each one wobbles, I run. And it can't be that the plates next to each other wobble. Oh, no. They have to be plate number 1 and plate number 10 that are needing my attention.

"I am so tired." I lamented to Lance as I stood in the bathroom curling my un-curlable hair as he sat on the lid of the toilet listening. (Earlier he walked in while I was getting ready with my breakfast in hand and a feeding tube running out of his nose. He made toast and eggs. I didn't ask him to make breakfast, he just wanted to bless me. And he did.)

But as soon as the words fell out of my mouth, guilt fell over my mind. How could I complain when the person I hold most precious on earth is fighting cancer? How selfish. It's only the 11th plate - that's all - one more plate that I can keep spinning and it's worth the effort.

I had a revelation the other day. Hit me like a ton of bricks. Lance and me, we're worth the trouble. If Satan can spend so much time and energy on reeking havoc in our lives, when there are sooo many others he can bother, we must be worth it.

I could sit here and type for another 3 hours straight and tell you story after story of how our family has been tormented by tough stuff. And the more we are tormented, the deeper we dig in our heels. The closer Lance and I get as a couple. The more we love God. The more we want to serve and be a good witness for the Christian faith.

And this cancer? Well, this cancer has done nothing short of bringing about a closeness in our family that nothing else could accomplish.

I am never one to taunt the enemy but if we are so worth the trouble, bring it on. Because it means that we are taking ground - ground that is rightfully ours and has been stolen from us. And if the only way to get it back is to fight - we'll fight - we'll keep the plates spinning - we'll honor God and spread His fame in the land we've been given. It's worth the trouble!

In Job 2:10, Job answers his complaining wife with a good question:

"Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Lance and me, we are good in adversity. We've learned to handle it well and obviously, there must be good reason. Because Satan thinks we're worth the trouble and that's a compliment.

I am beginning to understand what James meant when he said, "Count it all joy when you encounter trials of many kinds." (James 1:2) It means not only the perfecting of our faith, but the understanding of our value. Just as we are valued in God's eyes, we are valued in the eyes of our enemy as a great spoil of war.

I intend to stand strong and be on the receiving end of the spoils! It's worth the trouble.

Have to show you the latest picture of our sweet grand baby, Lily. She's coming for a sleep over this weekend. Can't wait, she's the absolute best 'spoil' we've ever received! :o)