I’m learning that, when you have cancer, you meet a lot of new friends. There have been several people who we’ve gotten to know in the waiting rooms of the doctor’s offices. Often times, you go at the same time each day, or each week for your treatments, so you see familiar faces.
There is one particular couple that we’ve seen a lot and have enjoyed getting to know. It is a husband and wife, probably in their late 60’s. She has cancer in several places on her left side. We walked into the waiting room yesterday morning and as soon as I saw her, my heart sank. She has had several rounds of chemo and is now in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank. She looked weak and exhausted.
We sat down beside them and started talking about how she was doing. Of course, it was not good. She was cold, so I wrapped her up in my huge shawl that I carry around all the time. The nurse called their name and we said, “Bye. We’ll see y’all back in the chemo room in a minute.”
About 15 minutes later, her husband came to find me and give me the shawl back. I said, “You didn’t have to do that. I’ll get it from you in the room.” His eyes were filled with tears when he said, “We won’t be seeing you in there. They are sending us home to call Hospice……………..”
There’s this kind of weird thing that happens inside your mind when you are fighting cancer. You see yourself in every situation. So, while you care deeply about the other person and what they are going through, you constantly look at these situations and imagine how you will feel if you ever have to face the same thing.
I immediately started crying. I couldn’t help it. I tried really hard to hold it in and be strong for him. I smiled at him through the tears, but I wanted to curl up in a ball on the floor for a minute.
“We can’t do anything else for you.”
I dread those words. And, as I looked into this sweet man’s eyes, I was filled with compassion for his hardship. We just hugged him.
Just a bit later, they wheeled her out and we got to speak to the wife. She looked up at Clay and said, “We just have to trust that God knows best. He must have a plan.” Of course, he smiled and agreed with her. He says this all the time. “God knows.” And He does.
How does anyone face these words without knowing Jesus? Without a belief that there is a greater purpose. A greater meaning to this life. There is so much tragedy, sickness, death, pain and anguish in this life. I am constantly amazed at how many people are with us in this battle. It would be so tragic to face it without hope.
As they wheeled her down the hallway, we stood there and watched. Tears just streamed down my face and the enemy really tried to get in my head. If God doesn’t do a miracle, the doctors have already told me that we will face that same conversation. There comes a point when the body doesn’t respond to the medicine any longer.
Clay took it really hard. He just sat with his head in his hands for several minutes. Then he started asking me what the doctors have told me to expect with him.
I just encouraged him that we are nowhere near that conversation right now. He is responding to the medicine and we are going to be grateful for that today. That’s all we can do. We have to just praise God for what He is doing right now. We can’t think too much about tomorrow.
This song came to my mind. I love Lauren Daigle. Listen to these words…..
“When you don’t move the mountain, I needed you to move.
When you don’t part the waters, I wish I could walk through.
When you don’t give the answers, as I cry out to you.
I will trust. I will trust. I will trust in you.”
These are powerful lyrics. It is easy to trust God when He is doing good things that align with our plans and dreams of what our life should look like. It is another thing, entirely, to trust Him when His plan seems devastating.
As I sat by Clay in the treatment room and prayed for this sweet couple, I read Jesus’ words in Luke.
Luke 6: 46-49 Build Your House on the Rock
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
Clay has referenced this scripture so many times in the past few months when talking to people about our situation. When the storm comes, you have to already be built on a strong foundation. You don’t have time to build your foundation when you see the water rising. It has to already be strong.
Jesus references two kinds of people in this scripture. Those who hear and do. And those who hear and don’t do. He’s not talking about people who’ve never heard the Word. He’s talking to those of us who hear it and know it. But, even if you regularly attend church and regularly read your Bible, you still have a choice.
To do, or not to do.
And your life could depend on this choice. The strength of your foundation depends on this choice. And, trust me, the waters WILL come. You might be living and thinking everything is great. You might look at situations around you and think, “That will never happen to me.” Don’t be so sure. I thought the same thing.
The water will come to each of us. Our foundations will be tested. How will yours hold up?
The only way to be sure that your foundation is firm, is to do what He says. To know the Word and follow it. To forsake what seems fun and entertaining right now, and realize that life is bigger than our temporary satisfaction. To lay aside our selfish ambitions and desires, and to lay our lives at the feet of Jesus. To live with a perspective that this life is brief, but what follows is eternity. Live for eternity.
Live today for what your life will be like in eternity.
Know Him. Love Him. Live for Him. Do what His Word says.
Then, when the waters rise, your foundation will stand. You will watch the water come up and you won’t even have to be afraid. You won’t be scared. You won’t be nervous. You will just have peace and confidence in knowing that your foundation is ready for this test.
You will stand and look out the window of your house with strength and confidence.
Because your God is greater. He is stronger. The wind and waves obey Him. They know His name. You will have a surety that God is in control. No matter the outcome. And, you will praise Him because He is worthy.
When the storms come, praise rises up in us because we realize how big our God is. Listen to this song. It came on last night, while I was driving home from Grace’s volleyball game. If you happened to pass me, I’m sorry! I was singing at the top of my lungs. It’s just that, when your world is falling apart, it is such a relief to just look up and say, “Great are you Lord!”
I pray that you will examine your foundation today. Allow God to examine your life and help you determine if you are living according to His Words. Are you doing what He said, or are you hearing it and not doing? I pray that, when the storm comes, your foundation will be solid and the waves will have no affect on your life.
Praise God for who He is and for His strength. It is His breath in our lungs. He created us and all that is around us. Praise Him today. Surrender your life and trust Him. He knows what is best and He sees what we cannot see. And, when we stand before Him, it will all make sense. Amen.