“Please pray for a miracle!” she pleads. She is not just a friend. She is closer than a sister to me. My heart aches for this woman watching her daughter with two young girls withering away with cancer throughout.
My friend inspires me. She boldly goes before the throne of God entreating Him for miracle, believing He can deliver. Will He? She does not know. She tells me she is ready to accept His will, come what may. Doctor has given daughter two weeks. With a controversial treatment she might survive longer but, if administered, she might die on the table. Daughter’s choice? “Give it to me.” It’s her last ditch effort to stay alive, to stay with her husband, her girls, her sister, her parents, her friends.
How do we face such tremendous odds against us? Cancer, unemployment, threat of divorce, fill-in-the-blank. How do we deal with things we know and feel are too big for us?
In life on the farm, lessons often come from my animals. The other day, I stepped off the front porch of our log home and headed east to the horse barn for morning feedings. Our yellow lab pup, full of pup energy, made me laugh and then wince.
Rose, just short of her first birthday, our middle child’s 18th, was carrying a very big stick. If dogs could speak English, I have no doubt she was saying, “Hey Mom! Look at me! How do you like this REALLY big stick I found? Want to throw it for me?”
I was thinking, “You’re GOT to be kidding! Where did you find that thing and how in the world are you carrying that around in your pup mouth? It’s bigger than YOU! Don’t you know your limitations?”
No sooner had I thought that thought, she came barreling into me, smacking my shins at full speed with that big stick. Apparently, her visual-spatial capabilities are not quite fully developed. After shouting my OOOWWWWWs, I tried grabbing the stick from her. Suffice it to say that my lab pup won the tug-of-war. There was NO way she was going to let go of that stick.
So, I gave up and went back in the house to grab my camera. I think my photo shoot inflated her pride. She pranced around and around as if saying, “Aren’t I something? Take a picture of me at THIS angle. Now THIS one. Just one more here, because THIS one shows how strong I REALLY am! Can you BELIEVE I’m carrying this BIG STICK?!”
Sometimes we are called to carry big sticks. Sometimes the stick tastes bitter. Sometimes we don’t even want to pick it up. Sometimes we DOUBT we can pick it up.
But, we have to pick it up. We have to carry the big stick because we’re called to.
So how do we do it? How does my friend pick up her big stick, her cross, and follow Christ?
FAITH. Pure faith. She knows her weakness. She knows her smallness. She knows she has no power over life and death. Yet, she knows.
She KNOWS the omnipotent One. She KNOWS the perfectly GOOD One.
And she trusts, come what may, in His absolute goodness.
Son Jesus begged Father God to let the cup pass Him by. Yet, not Son’s will, but Father’s will. Father knows best, though intense pain is in the offering.
Will my friend’s daughter experience miraculous healing in the next few days she has left? We don’t know. But we trust. God is good. Always good. He brings about good in ways we cannot fathom. He strengthens us with Himself, with His holy presence, for anything and all things He allows to cross our path.
I love you deeply, my friend. I stand fervently with you in prayer. May you be blessed with God’s peace, regardless of outcome. I believe, with you, God will show us miracles of His making though they may be different from what we expect or hope.
We CAN stand in these heart-breaking trials.
We CAN stand because He strengthens us when we have no strength left.
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. Isaiah 41:10