In Quietness

It is the wee hours of the morning. I have just completed a list of things in preparation for what is now today. Stopping, I am taken with the quietness. There are no cars speeding past, no noises from the apartment above me, no emails flying in requiring a reply, no phones ringing. All is at rest seemingly.
What a perfect scenario for basking in the presence of God without distraction. When sitting down to read God’s Word, even soon after rising, I find myself so distracted with the cares and plans of the day. There is a constant re-focusing and a frustration that my concentration is not what I would like it to be. Thus, during this brief respite, I will rehearse the goodness of God and offer to him the praise and Thanksgiving due unto his name.

God and I have shared some sweet moments in recent days as I have once again been confronted with my own mortality. The latest CT scan shows that the cancerous tumors in my lungs continue their steady, albeit small, growth. The paralyzed vocal cord is directly related to one tumor specifically that is putting pressure on a nerve. While I do not sense that my demise is imminent, I do sense that my time is drawing nearer. We are still talking years, but not many years.

Thus we have diligently sought to know the mind of God: Do we continue pro-actively fighting this disease? In all the reading I have done on the particular ovarian cancer cell that is now in my lungs, I have learned that it is a rare form of ovarian cancer, that it seldom metastasizes. It is further characterized as slow growing but very tenacious. I have not read that this cancer is curable. The praise and thanksgiving to God is that I have survived over 20 years since the original diagnosis! They don’t track survival rates beyond 10 years because most women who have ovarian cancer do not live that long!

Recently the Lord spoke to me through Hosea 6:11, “Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee….” It was as if the Lord was saying, “You have something to look forward to but your work is not yet done. If you expect the harvest I have set for you, you must continue planting, watering, tilling – working!” So, with great quietness of spirit, peace of mind, and fervency of heart, the approach is to continue a protocol that we trust will give physical strength and stamina to “keep on keeping on” as Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., so often admonished his “boys and girls.” If any healing occurs, it will be because God ordains healing. We are not focused on healing. We are focused on doing the will of God from the heart as long as he gives strength and enablement.

In discussing various options with my family recently, one of my sons said, “Mom, nothing you do will alter the number of days God has ordained for you.” That helped to confirm in my heart that regardless of how many days are left, I want them lived well and “to the praise of the glory of his grace” (Ephesians 1:6).

“In quietness and confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15). The Lord be praised!

The Big Question

If you had a dream but knew you might not live to see the realization of that dream, would you still pursue the dream?

That is the question I have been pondering in recent days.  My dream is to have a speaking ministry.  This has been my desire for as long as I can remember.  You would think now that my children are married and on their own, my husband is with the Lord, and I no longer have a job to work around that this would be the perfect opportunity for me to pursue the dream.  But when you have to figure cancer into the equation, the game changes.

The Lord and I have had some pretty serious discussions about this question of late.  There have been some health issues surface that would give pause for reconsideration of pursuing a speaking career.  So what is the answer?

The truth is that I am no different than anyone who is pursuing a dream.  All face challenges of one kind or another in the pursuit; and some never realize their dream because death comes unexpectedly.  Having a stronger sense of my own mortality does not let me “off the hook” of staying the course God has laid out for me.

Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.”  Verse 3 of that same chapter says, “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”  As I have commited my works (dream) unto the Lord, the thought he has established in my heart is that I must keep moving forward. I must keep taking the steps he directs and going through the doors he opens.  It would be so easy to “pack it in” and wait for the death angel to sweep me away to glory.  But as I discern the plan of God for my life, that is not an option.  No, I do not know how many days, weeks, months or years God has planned for me.  But neither do you.  In that respect, we are in the same boat and are charged with making good use of every day the Lord gives.  Having cancer just makes me more aware of time and how precious it is.  I struggle with wanting to accomplish so much in what time I have left, but God keeps telling me my times are in his hands and that he will direct my steps and establish my thoughts.

The Lord be praised!