In Support of “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind [thinking] is steadfast, because he trusts in You. –Isaiah 26:4 NIV
I usually have a normal routine in the morning: prayer, coffee, etc. But today was anything but normal for me. As a matter of fact, the entire morning seemed like one defining moment. As I did my various tasks, I was constantly thinking about the afternoon appointment I scheduled for today with a dermatologist. This was not a routine preventive appointment. A couple weeks before, my family doctor requested I see a skin specialist, because while doing a regular woman’s exam, I found something of a suspicious nature.
I would like to be able to write that I got up the morning of the appointment declaring the Word of the Lord concerning healing, poured blessed oil all over myself and rebuked the enemy in prayer like a mighty warrior. Though this would make me sound spiritual, I would be lying. Although I remained calm, as I prepared for the appointment, I listened to the continuous train of thoughts and questions that were coming to me: “Suppose I have the “C” word? How will I tell my daughters this?” “Christians die early just like unbelievers do. Remember, four pastors that you knew personally have died within the last few years. Surely, if this can happen to a pastor, it can happen to you.” I know that most of these thoughts and questions came from Satan, but I have to be honest—some were from me. But, I noticed that when Satan spoke to me, giving me a rundown on the last few years' Christian death count and the possibility of it happening to me as well, his voice was just as calm as mine.
The morning passed and finally it was time to go to the appointment. But I hadn’t responded to any of the thoughts and questions (mine nor Satan’s). During the drive to the appointment, I managed to remain calm. After checking the address on my paper, I arrived on the parking lot of the building. Then I looked up and on the roof of this tall doctor’s office building were these gigantic words, “CANCER CARE BUILDING.” I immediately thought, “Why did my doctor send me here? She didn’t say anything about cancer care. She used the word “dermatologist.” After reading those words, if I got unraveled at this point, surely it would be justifiable. But, I didn’t.
Everyone except the Holy Spirit had done their talking that morning. In that parking lot, the Holy Spirit began to speak and I listened. He simply spoke the Word: “The steps of a good man [or woman] are ordered by the Lord [Ps. 37:23].” But I have learned that it is not enough to hear God’s Word, we must choose to get in agreement with what He is saying. I got in agreement. Then I start responding to everybody else that was talking to me that day—myself and Satan. I had listened with patience and calm, but now it was my turn to talk: “Yes, it is true that several Christians I knew have died early deaths. I don’t know the reason why, and I may never be able to explain it to a doubter’s satisfaction. But I do know that God’s Word has an answer for every matter. And in Christ, there is always hope—in life or in the face of death [2 Cor. 5:1, Rev. 14:13]. And what I do know is that even in my valley experiences (including the death of loved ones), God has never left nor forsook me. And yes, it is true that Christians go through suffering and pain just as unbelievers do, but because God has been faithful to me, I can trust Him with my life. And I know this, if I go in this office and get an unfavorable report, it’s just another place I have to step. But wherever my feet have to step, good or bad places, they are still ordered by the Lord and not by past statistics nor by present circumstances.
After I made my declarations and chose to trust God, I truly felt the calming presence of the Holy Spirit envelop me. It was different from the calmness I experienced during my morning routine. This was different from me trying to hold it together internally through self-will and different from Satan’s counterfeit calm; His calm didn’t come with the perfect peace I was now experiencing. Now, I was ready to get out of the car. I went to the appointment and praise God I got a favorable report—no cancer! After all the thinking I had done that day, I realize that I was only one decision away from peace—the decision to trust God no matter where my feet had to step.
Driving home, thanking God for the report, I saw a sign on a church marquee in my neighborhood that read: “Pray that they find a cure for breast cancer.” Before now, I hadn’t realized it was breast cancer awareness month.” And I’m sure that sign probably had been there all month long. But I hadn’t given it much of my attention. I had to repent because my awareness wasn’t heightened until it was about me. In the scriptures, we are given an excellent example of a compassionate response when Nehemiah heard about the troubles of Jerusalem: “They [Hanani, one of Nehemiah’s brothers and some men] said to me [Nehemiah], ‘Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.’ When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1: 3, 4). Somewhere in the world today, a woman has to sit her family and friends down and tell them that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Please remember to pray for these families and pray for a hasty cure.
Father, please forgive me for not being more aware of the trials and suffering of others. When I get caught up in my own personal world, pull my coattail and remind me to intercede for them. In Jesus’ Name–Amen.
Read chapters 1-4 in Nehemiah in your study time. Please feel free to comment below.
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