(Previously published October 2, 2010)
"It was good for me to be afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.
The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver.
Your hands have made me and fashioned me;
Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.
Those who fear you will be glad when they see me, because I have hoped in Your word.
I know O Lord, that Your judgments are right,
and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort,
according to Your Word to Your servant."Psalm 119:71-76
This is what God spoke to my heart yesterday as I sat with Him in the morning. Hard words to hear, huh?
"Good to be afflicted."
But really, not so hard when they come from the one who made me and fashioned me. He knew I needed to hear these words and these words ministered to my heart. I know Him and His love for me abounds and is everlasting. He has only the best in mind for me and will work this cancer out for His good....that I pray each day.
-to distress with mental or bodily pain (yes, I understand this word to its core)
-to trouble greatly or grievously
-and the object of affliction....to humble
It is the last part that sits with me and brings the verse into its complete meaning...."that I may learn your statutes."
See, God didn't just say, "Yeah...it is good for you to be in pain and greatly distressed."
There is a much bigger picture. A picture that is rooted in eternal perspective and pursuit.
He says, "it is good for you to be humbled..... and if that means you need to experience some pain and discomfort so that you may learn to receive My truths and allow them to sink into your soul, then the affliction is good. I want you to learn about Me. I want you to see Me. I am faithful. I am merciful. I have an intended purpose. Trust Me.
And again, God brought me right back into His arms reminding me that this cancer is to teach me. This cancer is to grow me. This cancer is for my good. Can I receive that?
I can because His word is Truth and that means He is Truth.
And yesterday.....He showed me His faithfulness again and again. "Trust Me Stacy. I've got you covered."
Let me explain.
Back in June, our neck of the woods got hit quite badly with hurricane force winds, hail and rain. We were in Florida at the time, but came home to a bit of a mess. Power had been out for about three days and we had to empty out 2 fridges and our deep freeze. Dumpsters were brought into the neighborhood for the cleanup efforts and damage was widespread. Several of the houses along our side of the road were hit badly with hail damage to their roofs. We called our insurance company, having never used our home owners insurance, this was a bit new to us and we didn't know what to expect. Well, yesterday morning, the roofer came with our insurance adjuster and we found out that a new roof was in order due to the damage and our food loss was covered.
These things just don't typically happen. Our house was in need of a new roof soon. It was something we knew was in our financial future. God took care of the need in a way we never imagined. I praise Him for His provision.
I went on to my last filling of the Betties yesterday and as I traveled the 30 minutes to that appointment, God ministered this song to my heart. I spent that time just praising God for who He is and for His grace along this journey. This song came up on my ipod and I listened to it over and over again. "Lord, use me however you desire. I will walk this valley, Lord, to be closer to You."
My appointment went well. Yeah.....last filling!! Now I can settle into my new size at least for the next 6 months. :) At my appointment, I learned that there may be another avenue God may use for me to share His testimony of my breast cancer journey. Time will tell. I'll share more if it becomes a reality, but I'm excited of the possibility.
And then I came home, went to the mailbox and laying inside was an envelope filled with another generous, totally unexpected, financial gift. The emotion of the morning was more than I could bear and tears just began to fall as I marveled at God. At His provision. At His timing. At His faithfulness made evident to me in such tangible ways. I am humbled beyond measure. I had just finished another week with medical bills over $300. God provided for these needs, and more.... once again in His perfect way.
I go back to a verse in Jeremiah that often God recalls to my heart....."Call to me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know." 33:3 and Ephesians 3:20,21 "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above ALL that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
To Him be the glory......
.....and so this affliction. I receive it, because He is good. My eyes rest on Him alone, not the pain, not the discomfort....but God, alone. And I pray that as I walk this road, I learn all that He desires to teach me in my affliction.
I pray in your own journey, in your affliction, you, too, will see the hand and heart of God and humbly say, It is good, because He is good.
On a side note.....we are in the car right now having just got off the Winchester, Va exit of 81. Heading back to our hometown for our 20 year high school reunion today and tonight. Being high school sweethearts, it is fun to share this history with my beloved. So this afternoon we head to a high school football game and then out tonight meeting up with all of our high school classmates. It has been a long time. Not exactly the way I thought I would be going to my high school reunion....breast cancer surrounding me.....but thankful this is an off chemo week and I am back to feeling "normal." Can't wait to see everyone!
Wishing you all a blessed and beautiful weekend.