I was just remarking to my mother the other day that it seems to me as though more and more people are getting dreadful diseases. I began noticing this trend about six to nine months ago and had originally chalked it up to the fact that I’d been diagnosed with cancer assuming I was just hearing about so many other people with cancer because I as moving in that circle. But I’m not so sure that’s the case anymore. Every day someone else I know is diagnosed with cancer or some other disease like Parkinson’s, and we’re all fairly young (between 40 and 60).
A couple of weeks ago I heard from another of my OCFG’s (Outrageously Christ-Filled Girlfriends). She had a routine mammography that had originally gone well but the doctor had called her back for additional pictures. Having not had that ever happen, she was a little alarmed. We (women) each handle this information in our own way. Women grow up with their breasts taking an odd significance in their life – mainly because they are the only sexual organ that is so obviously prominent on one’s body. For some women breasts become a sort of status symbol, for some they become part of our identity, for others they are the life-blood for rearing children, and for all of us they are simply part of our figure. Men, would you like a useful finger or two lopped off? I don’t think so. But when a doctor gives you that look or calls you back for more pictures, your mind starts whirring with possibilities that could follow. If you’re not careful, it doesn’t take long to fall down the rabbit hole of worry and I can just imagine Satan’s demons hopping aboard the fear train and stoking the fires. Breast cancer. It’s not diagnosis you want to hear.
However, getting additional pictures isn’t an unusual step for women as they age. There is always something weird popping into view somewhere! And as any good Christian friend would do, I prayed that the doctor wouldn’t find anything of importance.
I didn’t hear anything for a week or so until she let me know that they were now calling her back for an Ultrasound (US). And that’s ample reason for the bravest of us to grow even more concerned. Half the problem is the doctor. They never seem to say anything that truly calms us because they’re trying so hard to not upset us. It’s a no-win situation.
I’d recently driven down routine mammy-extra views-ultrasound street and took a left turn at biopsy lane so I told my friend about the entire process I’d gone through so she’d know what to expect. As I’ve written recently, I’d given my burden to God to handle because with everything that was going wrong in my body at that time I just couldn’t worry about one more frightful thing. Then we prayed again, bringing her fear and anxiety to the foot of Jesus’ cross and laying it there. Not only did my friend not have to bear this burden alone – she didn’t have to bear it at all. She knew that, but it’s always nice for a friend to come alongside and agree.
I love chatting with this particular OCFG because we throw Scripture at each other all the time and that’s not a bad thing! We always seem to be bouncing God’s word or Christian-living views and questions off each other … what do we think … what do we know … how do we know it. We talk it out and usually come to some sort of agreement. It’s quite enlightening to discuss Scripture with someone who is studiously in the Word. We should all have people in our lives who are at all ends of the spectrum. The really knowledgeable, the semi-knowledgeable, and the maybe not so knowledgeable.
A little while later I’d checked in with my friend and she gave me the date of the US. But this time she sounded different. She shared right away that she was enjoying God’s peace and that she’d received a word of knowledge … Job 23:10 which reads in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
10 But He knows the way that I take [He has concern for it, appreciates, and pays attention to it]. When He has tried me, I shall come forth as refined gold [pure and luminous].
How lovely is that promise? He knows the way I have taken … God is so intimate that He knows everything. We can be confident in His testing because we really can’t fail.
My friend continued her thoughts in a text, she said (and I could feel her joy), “So I know that no matter what happens, I will be refined as pure gold! How gracious of Our Lord to comfort me with that truth!”
How gracious indeed. How can we not love and worship a God who provides this kind of peace and protection when we need?
I’m so ready to worship Him forever!