Friday, March 7, 2014

When Bad Things Happen

I have a very dear friend. She is my “Fourth Day Sister.” She has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer – stage three. She is being treated and is responding very well. She has the most positive, upbeat perspective about all of this. Last week during her chemo treatment, her doctor brought in another patient, sat her down beside my friend and said, "B. has pancreatic cancer too. Let her tell you how she is doing so well!" So she told this woman, "It's all about God and prayer and hope!" She then had the opportunity to pray with this woman and her son after she finished her chemo.

I’ve been praying for B. continuously. There is even a “closed” Facebook page for her where we send her notes of encouragement, prayers, and affirmative messages. None of us want to think or acknowledge what the worst outcome could be.

My personal prayers have been more often prayers asking God to heal her – totally and completely. I think what I’m actually praying for is a cure. A cure from this dreaded disease. There is a difference between “healing” and “a cure,” isn’t there? No matter the outcome of this dreaded affliction, my dearest of dear friends is “healed” from her infirmity – totally and completely. 

Our group of “Frenzied Fourth Day Friends” holds yet another dear friend. She is the “Church Lady”. Whenever B. has chemo, the Church Lady is there with her to pray, to anoint her with oil and to offer communion. She makes this service available to anyone else in the room who wants to be included. What a ministry she is developing! As mentioned above, even if she isn’t there, then B. will take over ministering and praying with those who are open. Even her oncologist, the physician realizes there is a Great Physician. Perhaps B. doesn’t see it, but she is ministering to him, too!

Genesis 50:20

New American Standard Bible

20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

I believe in prayer and its power. As you read this post, please think of B. and of Church Lady and pray for them and the ministry potential that has been presented to them through this health crisis. Pray not only for B.’s healing but for those who come into contact with her. Pray for the Church Lady that the Holy Spirit will give her strength and discernment for those who want to be prayed for but may feel unworthy of such, or even those who at this juncture may be angry with God for allowing this to happen.

Then I would ask for your prayers for my very own mother who has been diagnosed with a pre-cancerous tumor in her pancreas. Her medical team is “watching” and they continue to do testing to keep a handle on it.
Often persons will ask, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Some dare to ask, “Why do believers get cancer, shouldn’t God only allow this to happen to unbelievers?” I’m no genius, but I believe the reason this happens is   a) due in part to environmental reasons and how poorly we have been stewards of the earth and   b) when we can witness the positive faith of the believer in the face of… well, death and through that, minister to others.

Just writing this makes me recall the 23 Psalm:

The Lord the Shepherd of His People

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Wishing you everyday grace,


P.S.  Have you been finding everyday grace? One of my newest graces is that of learning to appreciate silence!