Distraction of Disease and Difficulties #devotion

difficulties

Today’s devotion is brought to you by a dear friend, Nancy. She is always a source of inspiration to me. I pray you are encouraged and strengthened by the way God has worked in her life.

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12 (NIV)

“I Believe” – we see those words all the time, on Christmas cards, on wall plaques, T-shirts, tote bags, etc. The thing is by themselves those two words mean nothing! We all believe lots of things. If we say we believe something but don’t act on it then whatever ‘it’ is still means nothing.

I’ve been diagnosed with cancer 3 times, once in 1992, last December (2015) and February 2016, and was told then it’s incurable. Many times since then I’ve been asked why I’m so peaceful, joyful, always smiling. What they’re really asking is, “why aren’t you afraid, sad, angry, upset, anxious knowing that you’re going to die? I have had a hard time answering those questions in a way that satisfies me or the questioner, until tonight – tonight (February) I went to see a documentary, “Chonda Pierce: The Movie”.

Chonda is a Christian comedienne I first saw many years ago at a Women of Faith Conference. Chonda was relating about the struggles in her career and family (her husband recently died) and people asking her how she could deal with all of it. Her answer was, “I believe.” I immediately shouted in my head, “That’s it!” That was the answer I had been trying to convey to people who asked me those same kinds of questions. But you can’t stop there. It begs the question, “What do you believe?” I believe in God and I believe God! They are not the same. You can believe that there’s a god out there somewhere, a higher power, a cosmic force, but not believe God.

So my answer is, I believe in God and I believe God, the God of the Bible, the one, true God. I believe that the Bible is his Holy Word, that was passed down orally then in written words from the Jewish people and from the early Christians. I believe the Bible is true, all of it, even if I don’t always understand it. I’d rather doubt my own understanding than God. Even some of my Christian brothers and sisters will find fault with that statement because of differences of opinion about some passages of scripture or conflicts with what is believed by the scientific, archaeological or historical communities, statements that appear to contradict scripture. It’s interesting though that no archaeological discovery has disproved scripture though many have confirmed it.

But I’m not here to argue. Far too many have wasted much time and energy doing that, including myself. I believe God. I believe His Word. In it he has made many promises to believers and I’ve learned through my challenges that God never breaks his promises! I know that all the challenges I’ve faced have served God’s purpose to draw me closer to him, to strengthen me in my faith and to give me ministries to reach out to a hurting world. They include my parents divorce when I was 12, chronic depression & anxiety disorder, my ill-conceived marriage & divorce at a young age, my daughter’s addiction & recovery in her teens, & 2 bouts of cancer.

From these experiences I am able to reach out & give love, understanding, compassion and help. These also taught me that I can depend on my brothers & sisters in Christ to lift me up and care for me when I need them to. They have been faithful servants. We are truly Christ’s heart, hands & feet to a needy, hurting world. All many know of Christ is what they see in us. The following passages are some that have been part of the foundation to my walk of faith and have proven themselves over & over again to me. I hope they touch, comfort & encourage you in your walk.

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12 (NIV)

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5b

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD , plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13.

I know what you’re thinking! With terminal cancer- ‘What hope? What future?,’ Eternity in heaven in the presence of Almighty God! If that’s not hope & a future I don’t know what is!
Dear Lord, I know you are there and you care deeply for each of your children. I pray for those in need of healing, strength, wisdom and peace. As for me, you know my worries, you know my fears and I  trust you implicitly. So when my soul is weary and my heart is tired and sore, and I have that failing feeling that I can’t take any more; I know that kneeling in your presence will give me that child-like feeling that you are holding me in your arms. Amen.

9 Comments

  1. Deb on February 22, 2017 at 3:48 am

    Thank you so much for sharing

    • pegarnold on February 22, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Glad you were touched by this. Nancy has very inspirational insights!

  2. Lucy on February 24, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Thank you for the devotion

    Blessings Lucy

    Sent from my iPhone

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  3. Lucy on February 24, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Look forward to seeing you Mar 11.

    Blessings

    Lucy

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  4. Carolyn Cobb on February 24, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    I too have been diagnosed with a terminal cancer and have yet been allowed by our Creator to continue for 4-5 more years. He is not finished with me and what I have to do for my family = my son and grandson and husband. Thank you so very much for putting into words the feelings I have had, especially of being alone and yet knowing God has me in the palm of his hand. Thank you so very much again for sharing. Carolyn Cobb

    • pegarnold on February 24, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      Carolyn,
      You have been a source of strength and inspiration to me as well. Thank you for sharing your story!
      Hugs!
      Peg

    • Nancy Riddick on February 25, 2017 at 3:31 am

      Thank you for your kind words Carolyn! I’m sorry about your diagnosis but glad that God has given you peace. I have found a sense of freedom in accepting that death is inevitable. It has inspired me to make the most of every minute. Doctors & cancer don’t have the last word – God does! That being said, we aren’t really going to die. Jesus promised! We’re just moving back home! ❤️

  5. Doris on February 25, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Beautifully said my dear Nancy

  6. Carolyn S Cobb on May 30, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Thank you for sharing the love and hope and joy that is with us, even though we have a “terminal” illness. He will still give us the time that we need, that He needs us to have, to complete His work for Him. Love and prayers to all. Carolyn

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