Breast cancer: two words that can strike fear in a woman’s heart.
When those words sank into my reality, I knew that fear, not cancer, was my biggest enemy.
Fear waited on the threshold of my life to terrify my sweet girls and scare my husband. Fear was rising up to steal my joy and overshadow my blessings. Fear wanted to take a front seat and steer me down a path choked with sleepless nights and days that were drained of strength. Fear, not cancer, would cause the Lord’s light in my life to grow dim. Instead of seeing God’s glory along the path that was mine to walk, others would see fear.
Fear is one of satan’s most effective weapons, used to suffocate, stifle and poison.
Through the surrealistic haze that swirled around me, God’s words came to my mind, tumbling in their rush to head off the soldiers of fear marching toward me:
Do not fear, for I am with you… Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for YOU are with me…Be strong, do not fear…Don’t be afraid, just believe…
A collage of verses repeated in my head and I gripped on to them. The Lord’s hand stretched out to me in the truth of His Word; living and real and present.
The devotion I had read to my girls the morning of my first appointment was about choosing faith over fear in a world that rages against our faith. I didn’t select the devotion, it was simply the one for that day of the week; definitely not a coincidence! It was the divine hand of an all-knowing God, prepping me for a decision He knew I would be faced with: faith or fear. God was setting the stage for me before I knew what the next act was.
I chose faith.
I have chosen poorly in times past. This time, though, I knew there was too much at stake to make the wrong choice.
I chose faith, not because my faith is strong, but because God is strong. I knew He could stand against the hurricane force winds which would destroy me if I tried to stand alone.
Through this journey that is just beginning, I have chosen faith more than once. Each appointment, procedure and new level of information has required a choice. satan dangles lures of fear before me, especially when I am tired, but God is gracious, and His hand remains outstretched and firm, even when my grip on Him begins to slide.
I know God has a purpose for the path I’m on. It is not a derailment. It’s what God will use to fulfill the purposes He has for me, and perhaps others, as well. Though it’s not the path of my choosing, it’s the path God has allowed me to travel.
This new territory will give me chances to cross paths with people I would not otherwise have encountered. I pray that others will see God in my life, shining with a light that pierces their storms. In spite of my weaknesses, He will do this!
He who commands the ocean waves and sets the boundaries for the waters of the deep is mighty enough for any fear YOU have to face.
Are ominous clouds of fear brewing on the horizon of your life? Fear can spawn from many places: disease, financial problems, divorce, relationship issues, addictions, heartache, depression, anger…the list can go on and on.
The world is a fallen place. Tragedy, sickness and heartache abound. But, know this: God loved you so much He sent His Son into this broken world to pay for your sins. If you believe that is true and have taken Jesus as Lord of your life, then He stands with His hand stretched out, waiting to comfort you, give you strength and be your refuge when the gale force winds hit. He wants you to trust Him. He wants you to choose faith over fear.
Choose Him. Choose faith. God will supply the strength to hold on.
Isaiah 41:9-10 (NIV)
“I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant;’ I have chosen you and not rejected you. So, do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”