(Previously published November 1, 2010)
We pulled out of the church parking lot early yesterday afternoon after our monthly Moms in Christ Bible Study. Faith and Jed were cheerfully discussing their morning in Children's Ministry, recalling all the fun they just had. How my heart was warmed listening to their giggles, and Faith's so "adult like recaps."
We were in a bit of a hurry, as I had to get Faith to preschool by (12:30). I haven't shared this yet, but about 2 weeks ago, after the Lord's prompting, my restless heart, and again His abundant and timely financial provision...the door was opened and Faith, with so much excitement, began preschool at a nearby church. She loves it and so do we. It was a perfect fit for a perfect season.
My mind settled on the morning and the beauty of women gathering together to study God's Word desiring to grow closer to their Savior. Of the wisdom that was shared as we looked at God's order in the home. And as my mind bounced from one thought to the next, it was quickly interrupted as I heard these words coming from the back seat...
"The Lord will fight for you." Exodus 14:14
"Is that right, mom?"
Am I saying this right?
And as I quickly peered around the seat, there was Jeddy holding up this bookmark from Children's Ministry. In his "just learning to read curiosity" and adorable little voice, with determination at getting the words right and pure pleasure in accomplishment....He needed some validation that he was in fact reading the words correctly.
What he didn't know was in that moment, God was using my little boy to speak directly to my heart.
That those words, were words that have flooded my mind for the last 6 months, turning over what it means in my "fight against breast cancer."
Trying to fully understand God at His word and wrap my mind around this battle that I'm in knowing that I really and truly can't "fight" it. This cancer. It's too big and I'm too little.
At least not fight the way I'm told to by the world.
This battle is not mine. I've said it before.
This cancer has too many tentacles and unknowns. It was my deepest fear for 38 years. CANCER. The 6 letter no one ever wants put together in a sentence where your name is involved.
The disease that as doctors say, "isn't considered curable for 5 years from diagnosis, because it is a disease that can strike later with a vengeance."
And all around are the words, "Fight breast cancer." My goodness, there are even pink boxing gloves made for women fighting this disease. As much as I love pink (and I do, it is my favorite color)....I don't want boxing gloves, nor do I know what to do with them and the 6 letter word.
And so as Jeddy's sweet voice came from the backseat, asking the most childlike question....
"Mom is this right? The Lord will fight for you?" holding up his bookmark....God was answering the question that I have held at the forefront of my prayers.
I grabbed for my Bible on the passenger seat next to me and asked Jeddy to tell me again where that was. I needed to read the context. I needed in that moment to see the words on the pages of the one book that is alive and sharper than any two edged sword because right then and there is was cutting through my joint and marrow, my soul and spirit, just as Hebrews tells us the Bible does. (Hebrews 4:12)
So with my legs steadying the steering wheel and one eye on the road and the other on my Bible, I went to Exodus 14:14 (note to others....do not recommend doing this while driving, but I was not to be contained in that moment.)
And here's the story of Moses leading the Israelites through the Red Sea. I've read the story a thousand times. My eyes have gazed over these verses and these words. But today they held a deeper meaning. Today they came alive to this woman whose body is tired and chemo has just worn out the physical me. To a woman that really doesn't want to fight the way I have the better half of my life. In my strength, my way, pushing to get to the other side. I'm not engaging in this battle this way. I can't. It is too exhausting.
And as Moses has just lead the Israelites out of Egypt, a land of oppression, from a Pharaohthey were enslaved to, to a future that offered no hope in their human eyes.....before them lay the massive Red Sea. Under them the ground was probably shaking as the hooves from the horses and the wheels of the chariots came fiercely across the ground in the distance, quickly approaching. To say they were pressed on every side would be an understatement. Can you imagine the fear that was rising within them. A battle was ensuing, a battle for their lives, their future, their livelihood..
A battle that resounds within me.
But God knew as He could see into their hearts.
And guess what Moses told them to do......Stand Still! The Lord will fight for you!
"Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace." Exodus 14:13-14
And what did God do, He parted the Red Sea. He delivered them. He brought them to the other side. He fought the battle and He won..His way. Those Israelites, they were ready to go back to Egypt. The battle was too much. The journey too long. The end, not seen. And I imagine, they were tired.
But God says, this battle is mine. Watch me deliver you. Believe I will deliver you. All I ask is that you stand still. Stand firm. Not in human understanding, but in ME.
This same message is throughout God's Word. It is there when the Israelites came up against the Amorites crying out that they were 'greater and taller, the cities were great and fortified.'
They saw their enemy with their eyes and they were scared. And Moses tells them
"Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. The Lord your God, who goes before you,
He will fight for you."Deuteronomy 1:30
And then he gives the most beautiful picture of God as a Father carrying His son, never letting him down or letting him go.
That's what God's battlefield looks like.
That is what God does for each of us. He fights the battle. He takes down the enemy and He is victorious and in the process He desires to show Himself strong & faithful for us...for you and for me.
The battle, the fight needs to be put into the proper perspective.
It isn't about us winning. It is about the glory of God being seen. His character. His faithfulness. His salvation. His deliverance. His love. His grace. His mercy. His magnificence.
And when we put down the weapons of this world and pick up faith in Christ Jesus, there is victory.
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God...." 2 Corinthians 10:4,5
And I look at David...as he was going to fight Goliath, Saul tried to adorn him with armor....worldly armor...a coat of mail, a heavy helmet, a sword....and as David tried to walk, he couldn't. It was heavy, cumbersome and ill fitting. David, taking off that armor, told Saul that it hadn't been tested. It hadn't been tried.
David was a boy that sought after the Lord. He knew that the battle was the Lord's. He knew a God that didn't disappoint and that came through strong. God had more to show than a boy defeating a giant. God was to show His strength in the weakness of that boy.
David drew 5 small, smooth stones and placed them in his pouch. And He stood before Goliath. He didn't charge at him. He stood and used the weapons that God had given him....God's almighty power and strength.
We know how the story ends. Goliath went down.
But we see in the end, David's heart on the matter. David's heart toward God.
"That all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all the assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands." 1 Samuel 17:46,47
That the glory of God may be seen. That all the earth would know there is a God and He delivers.
And God goes on in Ephesians to give us the armor that we need as the battles ensue around us. As war is waged against us and we pass through the valley of the shadow of death.
These are spiritual weapons, because whereas our battles might appear to be physical, they are spiritual. As Satan wants to take us down and in the process take God down.
But God has won. And He tells us to grab hold of the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the sword of the Spirit, the belt of truth, shield of faith and the shoes of the Gospel of peace. Pray in the Spirit, be watchful with perseverance....and STAND in the Lord and the power of His might.
How hard, right? Just to stand still and let God fight for us. We are a world of doing. Of bringing about action and results. But God says to stand still and let the power of the Lord rest upon us. To see what He is going to do. That doesn't mean that you do nothing. It means that you humbly follow hard after Him and let Him direct your steps. Seek His wisdom and understanding, as David did as he drew those stones from the brook.
The battle is the Lord's and we are to Stand firmly in Him. Who we know Him to be and He will show His power through us, strengthening us and fighting the battles for us.
And the victory....the victory is that in this battle I have the peace of God that passes understanding, I have joy, I have love, I have strength and I have power....all of which are God's and are in me as I am in Christ Jesus.
He is my hope. Not the chemo, not the surgery, not the radiation, the doctors, the supplements, the nutrition, the drugs.....my hope is in Christ alone. As I sought Him, He showed me these treatments are part of His plan for me, but ultimately, He will do the healing. All I can do is take care of this body as a servant of the Lord. Care for this temple. He will bring me, as He did with the Israelites, to the other side. I pray for healing, but either way I know that I am alive, whether here on this earth or in the presence of the Lord for all eternity.
Back to those words spoken from the mouth of my 6 year old boy.....
"The Lord will fight for you."
"Mom, is this right?"
You bet, my sweet boy....He will!!
Much love in Christ,
P.S. Tomorrow morning, (Wednesday), I go in for chemo treatment number 6. Please pray that my blood counts are good and that my body receives the chemo. Please pray that God continues to fight this battle for me as only He can! Please pray for healing. How I cherish each one of your prayers and am humbled beyond measure that you would love me enough to carry me to God's throne. Please know that as you have shared your requests with me, I keep you as well before the Lord. The road is long, but it is sweetly marked with your friendship and love.