(Previously published August 10, 2010)
Sunday morning, I awoke, as I usually do each morning around 6:00, and went down to the front porch to meet with my Lord. For the past couple of months, I have been reading through the book of Matthew, some days it is a whole chapter and others, just a few verses. Back in April, as our Bible Study was concluding, my heart was being drawn to study the steps of Jesus. To go back to His earthly ministry and walk with Him as he healed many, taught the multitudes, instructed the disciples and ultimately gave His life upon the cross for you and I. I wanted to see more of who He was, His heart and His love poured out as He interacted with all those who gathered and called upon His name. I encourage you to go to any of the Gospels and look closely at Jesus. You won’t be disappointed.
I happened to be in Matthew 21 as Jesus was entering Jerusalem, the Triumphal Entry. His entrance was just as it was prophesied years earlier by the Prophet Isaiah & Zechariah.
“Behold the King is coming to you, lowly and sitting on a donkey,
a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Another example of Jesus’ humility. He entered the world in a manger and entered Jerusalem as the King of Kings, riding on a donkey. Exactly as it was foretold. To the day. There He was with His disciples, and all those who had traveled with Him from Jericho. And people gathered around him. I’m sure some poured out onto the streets to see what was going on as such a crowd entered into Jerusalem laying down palms and blankets to the ground that Jesus road upon. Here was Jesus proclaiming that He was the Messiah and the King, to the people gathered around, to the disciples, to the world. It was a Sunday, and in 5 short days, He was to be crucified. No one knew that. But He did. And as He entered Jerusalem, He knew it would be His final entrance.
The people were overcome with joy, with praise, with elation and they began shouting,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Hosanna in the highest!.”
It was on these words that I laid my eyes. These people didn’t fully comprehend who He was, but they knew there was something different about Him, there was power in Him and it moved them to a posture of praise and exaltation. They didn’t need to understand the why’s and hows..they just knew that they needed Him and loved Him and their hearts were overcome. They raised their arms, lifted their voices....worshipping Jesus.
“Hosanna.” An exclamation of joyous praise. Hosanna. Save now!
And as I stayed on this word allowing God to wash over me. As I bowed my head and my heart to my King Jesus, all I could do was praise Him for who He is.
A couple hours later, I stood in church, worshipping. And you know what song we began singing....”Hosanna.”
My heart was overwhelmed once again with thanksgiving, joy and praise as God met me in that moment.
That I would constantly have an attitude and heart to worship. To look up and not around. To keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. To have a heart always inclined to praise Him for the good and the bad. The difficult and the easy. For health and for disease.
For me right now, it is a moment by moment abiding. It is an act of my will to choose Him and not to walk in my disease. It is not easy. But I so desire to walk this road with my arms raised to Him. “Open my eyes to the things unseen...Lord. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Everything I am for your kingdom’s cause.”
And then as I walked out into the foyer after worship. I bumped into my dear friend, Allyson.
Just two days prior, my husband shared with me that the patient that had a fever last week, was rescheduled for Monday. That would mean that he couldn’t go with me to my Monday appointments with Dr. Bazzan (integrative doctor) or the general surgeon. I must admit, I didn’t take that announcement very well and as I tend to do, I wanted to solve the problem as I thought I knew how. God quickly interrupted me. And instead of making phone calls, trying to line up reinforcements, I prayed.
My friend, Beth, was at the Jersey shore and I knew that she wasn’t available to go with me. I don’t go to many of my appointments alone. One because there is always so much information that I tend to quickly forget, and two, I like company, or maybe I am just extremely weak!
Later that day, I went to pick up the phone and call another friend to come with me, but I stopped, again feeling God say, “wait on Me.”
I put the phone down.
Well, I stood there in the foyer with my sweet friend, as she asked me how I was doing and began to probe deeper. I told her of my Monday appointment and told her that I was going to ask her to come with me, but she has 3 small children. I knew that there was no way this could work, and didn’t want to put that strain on her. And as only God can orchestrate details....one by one I watched Him put the pieces together.
Well, on Monday’s Allyson’s mom comes to help with the children. She would call her mom and see if she could spend the night, as my appointment was really early. She asked where my appointment was. And as I told her the location, low and behold, her mother lived almost around the corner. She knew right where it was. Once again, God’s plan is so much bigger.
I pulled into the parking lot at 7:30 Monday morning, and Allyson pulled in right next to me. No children. Free Monday morning and able to walk beside me, be my note taker (and 7 pages of notes she took!) and help me decompress later that day as I filtered through all the information.
And so I say, Hosanna in the Highest! He is the King of Kings. He is the Savior of the World. He is worthy of all praise. I don’t know how many times He needs to show me, as I continually fall down, He is continually picking me back up, showing Himself strong. I will praise Him.
My appointment went well on Monday. Dr. Bazzan confirmed much of the foundation that had already been laid in my treatment. He has a myriad of tests he wants to perform and labs to run. He guided me in the area of supplements and confirmed that I needed to go through chemo, but he would build my immune system as the chemo went in to destroy. He uses an IV Vit. C therapy alongside chemotherapy. He guided me through food and nutrition and he showed me the marriage between conventional medicine and whole body health. And for that I am thankful. It was just what I needed. I will take his information and pray over it. As a result of our meeting, God lead me later that day to another doctor, who practices much the same way. I see him on Friday to compare notes. He, too, does Vit. C therapy and is a cancer survivor.
The cost of all of this was overwhelming in the end. And again, as I walked out his door Monday morning, I sat in my car and cried. Cried because of the guilt that came heavy down on top of me as to the financial burden this would be placing on my family. Cried that I had cancer. Cried that this is where God had me.
I called my sister, who was unable to talk to me. My husband was in surgery, so no phone. I believe that is where God wanted me as again, in my weakness, God showed Himself strong. I needed to turn to Him, not Barclay, not my sister, but Him. He has the answers. I had a 40 minute drive home and in those 40 minutes it was just me and God. As my faith waivered. As I began to doubt that God would show me His path in this marriage of treatments. As I went to the circumstance, once again....He reminded me to look to Him.
Just an hour later, I sat in the general surgeon's waiting room, not alone, with Jesus. I pulled out my phone and looked at my email. I get a devotional each Monday from James MacDonald. I opened that email and set my eyes upon the title... "I Choose to Trust." My heart gave way to praise. My eyes laid upon God's word in Isaiah 41:10, the theme verse for that devotional that day:
"Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
And again, I repented for my doubt and unbelief. With one hand, God is holding me. That is all He needs. He is all powerful. I don't have the answers today, but I will choose to trust Him and I will praise Him...no matter what. I grabbed that verse and claimed it yesterday morning. Lord, I am holding onto you and I will fear not! Hosanna to the King of Kings.