For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do Not Fear; I Will Help You. Isaiah 41:13 NIV
My husband, Brad has battled thyroid cancer since he was 29 years old. Thyroid cancer that spread to his lymph nodes and resulted in several surgeries, radiation treatments, countless biopsies, numerous scans and ultrasounds, and teams of radiologists, doctors, and surgeons to visit. The battle was long. For the past sevenish years he has had clean reports. We have had scares that were biopsied and found benign. But no new cancer has been found. Praise God! We are once again facing the cancer “heebie-jeebies.” It has been six years since his last CT scan and it was time. As the inconclusive blood work results in a CT scan, and the inconclusive CT scan results in an ultrasound, fear of the battle that MIGHT be coming begins to paralyze me. We wait while the ultrasound is compared to the CT scan and they both are compared to past scans and ultrasounds. Will they want to biopsy more lymph glands? Probably. Then we wait more. Readying for a battle that may or may not come.
I know this is a story that many people share. Is there going to be a battle? What is that battle going to look like? How will this battle end? What will we do? How will our children be? What do we tell them and when? Do we even have anything to tell them? What do we know? NOTHING! Lord Jesus! Help me!
And…that is exactly where I think He wants me to be. He wants me to cry out to Him. He wants to do this with us. He has never once asked us to battle on our own. He will not start now.
In Matthew 14 when the disciples are in the boat in the middle of the lake and Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. Of course they were terrified! They thought He was a ghost! But then…
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
I, like Peter, am in a constant seesaw state of total confidence in Jesus when he says to me “Come.” Then “seeing the wind,” I am afraid and begin to sink. Once again I have to cry out, “Lord, save me!”
And He does! Every time I ask! Every time I cry out to him He reaches out His hand and comforts me. He reminds me that He IS in control and that no matter what this battle is going to look like, we will be ok because we have already reached out to Him for our salvation. He will always be there to reach out His strong hand when I cry out to him. Even when it is every minute of every day. He NEVER gets tired of me wanting Him to hold my hand. And He never gets angry with me when I let go and think, “I got this now!” He knows I will be crying out to Him again. He knows this battle is unknown to us, it is scary, it is painful, and it is ugly. He knows all of these things!
Over and over in the Bible, Jesus asks his disciples why they doubt. Then he proceeds to teach them a new lesson, continues to show them perfect, unconditional love, and walk with them. Even in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20…
16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, the worshipped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Verse 17 says “but some doubted!” What?!?! How could any of them doubt at this point! But I do the same thing. He has been faithful to me over and over and over again. He has done things that only God could do. Yet, I sit here and write a confession that I am afraid, and that there is a piece inside me that is not sure I will be ok no matter how this battle turns out. But Jesus….then says in verse 20 “And surely I am with you ALWAYS, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus asks me, “Why do you doubt?” I don’t know why. All I do know is that He will reach out, pull me up, and love me even when I doubt.
Dear Jesus, thank you for forgiving me when I doubt, and when I am afraid. Thank you for reaching out your hand every time I begin to sink and I cry out to you, “Lord, save me!” Thank you for continually teaching me new things and walking with me ALWAYS, to the very end of the age. Help me not to fear the battle that might be coming. Instead, help me to lean on you in this moment, the moment you have given me today. Thank you for your peace and strength for now and the moments that will come. I will cry out when I am sinking and you will reach out your hand. I praise you in everything. Amen