And With His Stripes…

This morning, a friend texted me and asked me for Clay’s favorite scripture. He had just gotten out of the shower and was sitting on a stool in the bathroom and he replied without thinking.

Isaiah 53:3-6

“Who hath believed our report?
and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground:
he hath no form nor comeliness;
and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:
and we hid as it were our faces from him;
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs,
and carried our sorrows:
yet we did esteem him stricken,
smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

He practically quoted the whole thing and then he remembered the scene in the Jesus of Nazareth mini series in which Nicodemus quoted this scripture as he saw Jesus hanging on the cross. He had studied the law all his life and he had heard that scripture since he was a child, but he didn’t really know what it meant until he SAW. He saw Jesus being crucified before his eyes and it became a reality. It was like a light went off in his head and he suddenly understood. It all made sense. Clay had tears in his eyes when he was saying this to me with great emotion. This story parallels what has been happening to him during this time.

Since his diagnosis, he keeps saying, “It all makes sense. I get it now. I see.” He has known the Lord all his life. But, now he SEES. It has moved from his head to his heart. He often tells a story of when he was about 8 years old,  he was walking to a friend’s house to go play, and he spoke to the Lord directly and said, “God, I give you my life. I want you to live inside of me and be my Lord. Forgive me of my sin.” He says that he felt a tangible change. Like the Holy Spirit just settled down on him as he prayed those simple words. He went on to his friends house and played, but it was a moment he has never forgotten. Praise God that is all it takes. All we have to do is pray a simple prayer of surrender and ask the Lord to be our Savior and HE DOES. He just does. There’s no magic. We don’t have to do something hard or great. We don’t have to go through a person. We just have to pray to Him, with an honest heart, with faith like a child, and He does all the work. He covers our sins and He comes to live inside of us.

Clay and I have both spent our lives in church. We’ve heard countless sermons, we’ve read the Bible many times through, we’ve studied the Word for years. The Word is in us and now that we are being pressed, the Word is coming out. God is bringing back all the things He’s told us through the years. It is really cool to see how the Word sustains us. But, it has to be there. If we hadn’t known the Lord, and we hadn’t been full of the Word, who knows what would be coming out of us right now? I can tell you for sure that we would be terrified, depressed, angry, frustrated and miserable. But, we’re not. We are joyful, peaceful, thankful, blessed, and humbled. Only God can do that.

If you don’t know Jesus, please take time to find Him. Don’t wait until you are standing at the base of your mountain. It might be too late. You won’t have time to soak up enough of His Word. You may not look to Him because your anger may set in first. Turn to Him now…before you find yourself in a place where you literally can’t make it without Him. Let Him show you that you can’t make it without Him, even if you are not in a situation like ours. There is nothing good in us and we all desperately need a Savior. All you have to do is pray that simple little prayer that Clay prayed when he was 8 years old. And He will come.

And with His stripes we are healed. Those words are life to us right now. Of course, we want the word healed to mean that Clay’s life will be saved. But, that word could also mean that Clay will be with Jesus and truly be alive. We don’t know, yet. We are asking the Lord to show us His plans. What we do know is that the miracle he did last week, has given us much more time to seek the Lord and His purpose for us.

Many of you have sent us information regarding the Duke University study being done with the polio vaccine. The timing of that information being in the news was interesting, wasn’t it? I didn’t even know what Glioblastoma was until 2 weeks ago! Clay and I have seen the information and we have discussed it with our doctor at MD Anderson. He told us that MD Anderson has been doing a similar study for over 2 years and it just happened that the media caught on to what is happening at Duke. He warned us to be careful about reading the Internet and listening to the media. MD Anderson is the best cancer hospital in the world. Every drug that is working is available through that hospital. Praise God, Clay’s case was accepted by the top Neurosurgeon at the hospital who has now referred us to a specialized Oncologist and Radiologist. We are going to trust these experts. We know that God laid down the path for us to be there and we are going to rest in knowing that is exactly where He wants us to be.

We are filled with hope. It is a complete miracle that the surgery was such a success and we know that treatment options will prolong his life. I’ll be honest with you….I really was praying that God would heal him miraculously. That suddenly the tumor would just be gone. So many people prayed and believed that we would get to MDA and they would do a test that showed nothing. Wouldn’t that be so amazing?! I knew it wasn’t gone because he was getting so much worse when we were there. And I know it was God’s will for him to have the surgery because the circumstances were miraculous. But, I don’t want anyone to be able to see our story and say that medicine healed Clay. I know God can use medicine, but we want God to receive all the glory for our testimony. So, I just continue to pray for divine intervention, which is still needed. No matter how successful the treatments, they continue to tell us that it is not a cure and the cancer will continue to grow. So, God still has a chance to do a miracle! That’s what we desire.

Did you see the movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray? Well, that’s basically been our life since Saturday morning. Clay’s short term memory is still not back to normal. This is not because of the tumor, it is because of the anesthesia and the drugs. And it will go away….soon. But, for now, he keeps asking me the same questions over and over again. He constantly asks me where his phone, laptop and wallet are. He is always wondering about the kids and our parents. At times, he couldn’t even remember that he had surgery. But, through all of that, he has not forgotten one person that has come to see him during this time. He would wake up from a nap and I would have to remind him that he had surgery and then he would say, “Is that why _____ came to see me?” He could name every person that has come to our house, the hospital in BR and the people who visited us at MD Anderson. He even remembered that our friends Ken and Karen Smiley were there although he never saw them. Every time he thinks about it, he tears up and says, “That was so nice that they came. Really. It was so nice. They didn’t have to do that.” He keeps telling people that he would have expected himself not to want company, but he has loved every visit and it has encouraged him so much.

Speaking of visits, we have a room full of people loving on us right now. I’ll write more later. There is so much more I want to tell you. We love you!

 

 

2 thoughts on “And With His Stripes…

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