"So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Matthew 6:8 (NASB)
We are making our way through Round 2 of Chemotherapy. Randi went in this Tuesday (2/7/12) and her white blood cell count was sufficient to get the treatment. We can do nothing but praise our Heavenly Father this week because it has been a much better week than last round, although Randi has felt much weaker. The nausea and vomiting haven't been as much of an issue this round and we have found God's All-Sufficient Hand to be outstretched to us. Through this trial we are facing, I believe that we are learning ever more what Providence is.
There are moments in many people's lives where one feels as though continuing on is simply too difficult. The weight of the circumstance faced is too heavy a load to bear and the effort exerted to walk thus far has depleted all resources. The pain is taxing both emotionally as well as physically and discouragement soon sets in, shortly followed by despair. Hope becomes a faded memory washed out by the shadowy gloom of the storm one finds themselves in. Maybe you have felt this way? Oh, where does help come from? Oh, what is the discouraged to do?
It would not be a stretch by any means to say that Randi and I have both been here on multiple occasions through this journey of cancer. The detour seems to be just around every corner of progress. I am grateful, however, that these detours are not our Destiny. Friend, it is in these moments that the question the Psalmist asks is answered:
Psalm 121:1-8 NASB - A Song of Ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.
Over and over again in our moments of weakness and worry, God has shown up in His Providence. Two weekends ago, I sat impatient in my struggles. I was a roller-coaster of emotions, frustrated, angry, sad with a tinge of 'woe-is-me.' Although I was in great company of best friends who reminded me of the utmost Truth, I didn't want to hear it, I just wanted to be sour. I got home Sunday night and then proceeded to pass those ugly feelings on to my beautiful bride; I felt as though I was in a hopeless and helpless situation...Then Providence showed up. I had grabbed the mail on my way in and had opened a letter addressed to me. Randi read it aloud to me; it was precisely the encouragement I needed. I broke down in tears and cried to out to God thanking Him that He never leaves me even when I am acting a fool. Sweet words from a sweet friend removed my sour heart. Proverbs 12:25 KJV - Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. This is just one example of the innumerable instances where Randi and I have seen Providence at work in our circumstances through YOU. So many have taken the time to write us a letter, email, or message and it shows up exactly when we need it. Some might call this coincidence. Randi has told me that she has heard it said that coincidences are just God's way of remaining anonymous. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your words of encouragement. You have fulfilled the command given in Isaiah: Isa 35:3 NASB - Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. We have been overwhelmed by how you have loved us during this time. No note has gone unnoticed, we are grateful for every good thing that you have done. Maybe there is someone else you should encourage today? I encourage you to write them a letter. What's stopping you? You might just be the provision of the Provident One to that person.
This Tuesday as Randi sat in the chemotherapy chair, there were rumbles of emotions rolling inside her. Sitting there, Randi opened her Bible. As the drugs seeped in to her bloodstream, Truth soaked into her soul. The first verse she read was this: 2 Timothy 2:3 NIV - Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. A tear hit her cheek, in His Providence God gave Randi exactly the words she needed to continue on. Oh, how good is our God? We are continuing to find this truth ever more true: Philippians 4:19 KJV - But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Randi got her supply that day because she went to the Supplier. Is there anything you are in lack of today? Have you sought out the One who supplies?
Providence has also shown its hand through the upcoming week known as Love Week (written about here). So many of our friends have worked hard on this week, so many have bought a shirt or a button or a wristband. Last week the Allen High School newspaper published this article. We also invite you the benefit concert Friday night February 17th at 7PM in the AHS blackbox theater. We could never thank you enough for all your generous support. We are at a loss for words. Through this whole journey we can boldly say Romans 8:35-39 NIV - Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Thank you for at many times being the binding that God uses to keep us connected to His Love. We are so grateful for you and for your generosity.