Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Grounded Hope

A friend loaned a book to me that had been given her recently after her diagnosis of breast cancer. It is A Reason for Hope-Gaining Strength for your Fight Against Cancer by Michael S. Barry who is a chaplain for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America and pastor of Hope Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Libertyville, Ill. It was a little book full of hope and encouragement. Psalm 31:24 particularly jumped out at me: "Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord." Matthew 26:39 had a new meaning for me: "Yet not as I will, but as You will." I am trusting it to be God's will to heal me completely of this cancer. Jesus prayed those words before his crucifixion. Why would He pray for God's will when it would mean crucifixion, taking the sin of the world on His shoulders? God had a plan, a much bigger plan, and Jesus knew that. He wanted God's plan to be fulfilled. How can I pray for God's will for me when part of His plan means for me to deal with cancer? Cancer's not good and no one wants to deal with it. I'm glad God has a much bigger plan for me than cancer, and I don't want to limit Him fulfilling that plan by not trusting Him when I pray "yet not as I will, but as You will".

There was a prayer at the end of one of the chapters in the book that I wanted to share:

Father in heaven, help me to have hope by surrounding me with hopeful people. Help me not to receive bad news as though is is the last edition, but rather as one piece of information afloat on a river of facts flowing into a hopeful future. Heal me, I pray, not for my sake or anyone else's, but for Your sake. And ground my hope in the reality of Your profound and enduring love for me and desire for my well-being. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen

Thank you for being hopeful people who surround me.

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