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!