It was the summer of 2014. I remember as if it were yesterday—scared out of my ever-living mind! My periodontist had sent me to a specialist, who then sent me to another specialist for a biopsy of my tongue. Panic gripped me. I had lost my wonderful husband to cancer!
So my mind started running amuck. What if it is cancer? What if I need chemotherapy? What if the worst-case scenario happens? To me that wouldn’t be death (since I would be with my Savior and re-united with my soul mate), but the loss of my mouth!
I am a teacher, discipler, and speaker—not to mention a gabber. How would I serve my God without the ability to speak? I know the truth that God’s grace will be there when I need it (but not beforehand). I know the fact that most of what we worry about never comes true, but what if it does? It is a possibility, after all. How do I handle it if the worst thing does happen?
That’s when the Lord taught me this secret:
I had to decide ahead of time how was I going to respond if the worst case scenario did indeed become a reality.
As mentioned last time, when confronted with negative circumstances we can either have a temper tantrum or accept it and comply even if we don’t understand.
I could scream, stomp my foot, be angry at the doctors and God—be and remain miserable. Or I could accept God’s will and lean on His grace which He promised would be there to help me go through it.
The best choice is obvious, but I must admit it took me awhile to reach that place of compliance. (Maybe I’m not the only one who struggles here?)
Losing my ability to speak didn’t make sense. I was sure God was leading me to speak more—to use my gift of gab for Him. Was my service for the Lord over? It couldn’t be! So, I reasoned that if the worst thing happened, I could still speak by writing my words instead. That’s when I said to the Lord, “Ok, Lord. If that’s what You have ordained, so be it! Only help me!”
Once I determined that I would surrender and accept whatever the Lord has planned, peace came. Total peace.
Now I am not saying I never worried about my tongue situation again. Of course, I had moments of anxiety. But they were short-lived since I had already decided what I was going to do. Therefore, I didn’t have to live in that state of mind. And neither do you! We just need to follow through on our commitment.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. (Phil 4:6-8)
So my friends, what are you worried about? What is the worst possible thing that could happen in your situation? Go to the Father. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you reason it out, as you come to terms with it. Then decide ahead of time to accept whatever your sovereign Lord may allow, and how you could adapt to it—knowing in your heart that your faithful God will come through with His enabling grace to get you through it.
Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. (Ps 46:10 NASB)
P.S. All results were negative, but what a valuable lesson learned!
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