Live in His Rest

It’s been a challenging week, and the challenges look like they’re going to run through the weekend into Monday.

Last Monday my mother received her third treatment in the four-week cycle her doctor has devised for her. On Tuesday she received a shot to increase the white blood cells the treatment had depressed. That was all regular and expected. After that we thought we were to have a two-week rest from doctor’s appointments, chemo treatments, etc.

But on Wednesday she developed a severe back spasm in allergic reaction to the shot. I called the doctor who prescribed one Benadryl and two tablets of Vicodin every four hours. My mother, of course, didn’t want to take any of them, certainly not over a period of time, though she did. Not sure how clear her mind would be (recalling how unclear mine was when I’d taken Vicodin for my broken arm) I went over every 4 hours during the days to make sure she was doing okay and to see that the proper drugs were taken in the proper amounts at the proper times.

When it wasn’t better Friday I called again and spoke to the nurse who said the symptoms should abate over the weekend, since they rarely lasted longer than three or four days. She  added that I should have my mother take two Benadryl and two Vicodin every four hours over the weekend. Despite my telling my mother this — multiple times over the weekend — she kept thinking she was only to take one of each, so if left to herself, that was what she did. And then complained the meds weren’t doing any good. She also kept forgetting to eat when she took the Vicodin and so got an upset stomach.

Things were beginning to improve ever so slightly Saturday night. Then this morning she awoke with a “terrible sore throat”. So I checked the chemo-drug information which told me to contact the doctor as soon as possible. I called the Oncology center and talked to the on call physician who told me to go look for white spots in her throat and if there were he’d call in an anti-yeast medication for her. So I looked. Hmmm. There were whitish areas, but they weren’t spots. Didn’t even look like “patches.” Certainly not like cottage cheese or “lesions,” as the internet articles described.

Having no real idea what I was looking for, I didn’t call him back. He said if it wasn’t better in the morning, we were to call the center again and she’d have to come in. I wasn’t sure, but it seemed he implied that the sore throat might also be a side effect of the shot. On the other hand, thrush is apparently common in those with cancer and when one has dry mouth and she has had a very dry mouth ever since taking the Benadryl. So… I have no idea.

This morning was particularly difficult and afterward I had to remind myself that I am not responsible for this. I did not cause it, I do not have the ability to make it go away, I don’t have the training to know what’s going on, I’m not a nurse, so it’s absurd to expect myself to do all this correctly. To think I have a clue.

Then less than two hours later in Bible Class, Pastor once again spoke directly to me (though unknowingly, of course). The lesson was on living in the peace and rest that should be ours thanks to having been reconciled to God. Thanks to the fact that God’s got everything under control and has already done all the work.  He even spoke about medical things, just an offhand comment/illustration, but my goodness — exactly to my situation:

“One of the greatest problems we have is living in fear, worry and anxiety. Those things take away our rest. In fact, I found that I have felt the best these last few months when I decided to give up worrying about medical stuff: Did I eat the proper food? Take my medication? Am I doing the right thing? Should I even put this stuff in my body?”

That’s a quote from my notes which paraphrase to some degree, but boy was I excited. Exactly the things I’ve been dealing with in regard to my mother. Why is it so hard to remember… I don’t have to take control. I don’t have to solve the problem. It’s God’s problem.  He knows exactly what’s going on, what is causing what, what He wants to happen and all the rest. I’m just a stupid sheep. Why would I even think that I could know all that, and more, that God would demand such a thing of me in order to solve the problem? No. He demands that I let Him solve the problem and I just can’t quite let go and do that. It seems right, it’s almost compulsive this insistance I have on trying to fix things…. How stupid. How… crazy.

But that’s the flesh: sick, unsound, deceitful…

I only have to stay in fellowship and if I’m not at rest, I’m not in fellowship. More than that, rest connotes confidence, so if I’m not at rest I’m not confident. In fact I’m disobeying God’s word, which says the only thing I’m to fear is not being at rest. He’s commanded me to STOP WORRYING AND TRUST HIM.

And really, that is not hard. You just do

So. I may not be home for a good part of tomorrow. Then again, I might. But seeing as I’ve  already fallen out of the habit of get up at 7 and work til 9 on Sky, I think tomorrow I’ll shoot for doing at least an hour and a half of that before tackling the throat issue.

Living in the rest and peace that comes from understanding that you have been reconciled to God.
Romans 9-11 series: 2112-458
Taught on Jan 24, 2010

0 thoughts on “Live in His Rest

  1. Kathyj

    Hi Karen, Prayers going up to the Throne Room of Grace that Jesus Christ is glorified by His Word in your soul as you walk through this earthly adversity. I think that one of the hardest lessons we can learn is that “we” don’t have the power to fix things. God has the power and He will provide the perfect solution at the right time and right place.

    1. karenhancock

      Thanks, Kathy. Just what I needed to read right now after an hour and a half of trying – and failing – to contact someone who can do something at the cancer center. God has the power and He will provide the perfect solution at the right time and place.

  2. Jon S.

    Praying for you and your mom both. That you would be able to keep your mind and emotions together and not go insane with worry and the fears of what could be. For her that God heals her body and makes the treatments cause her less stress and pain.

  3. Karen Smith

    The lesson God had me learn at the AZ conference (although I wasn’t able to sit through all the classes) was how the unrealistic expectations I place on myself are roadblocks in my spiritual life, they totally take me out of God’s Plan and out of His rest. When we returned home, I was faced with another situation where I had to choose between what I expected myself to do vs what I knew I should do (rest). The struggle was mental and emotional, and it was another opportunity to apply the doctrinal principles learned. (And the opportunities to apply this have come up over and over again.)

    What I’ve realized through this struggle is that in essence what I’m saying to God is, “Father, I don’t trust your Plan, and I don’t trust You. So I’m setting these things up like this to protect myself. And You need to work Your Plan around mine cuz my plan is more comfortable for me and feels safer.” What an arrogant thought process to have! And silly really…considering Who and What God is. But that is really what I’m saying inside; that is how I’m living. When I see it plainly written like it is here, it makes no sense, yet somehow it’s made sense in my head for so many years.

    When we are living that which we say we believe, there is rest and then the happiness comes… Pastor Bob’s class came to mind where he taught that happinesses pursue us.

    Our Father is so gracious to take His time and show us so much love that He patiently lets His Word seep into the deep parts of our souls and then He gently brings these erroneous thoughts to mind so we can let Him change them…change them to His way of thinking so we can enjoy the most abundant life He not only desires for us to have, but that He already set in place for us to have. He truly is an amazing and wonderful God!!

    Hope you enjoy the opportunities for application that God is placing before you… I’m learning to enjoy mine. 🙂

    Keep surfing~~

    Karen S

  4. mylittlebub

    Karen Smith,

    That reminds me so much of our conversation at the conference. When I look at a situation I try and arrange it in the way that seems safest to me. The Lord is working on showing me that I don’t trust His plan because I don’t relax and enjoy His perfect but sometimes off-beat way of doing things. At least to this stupid sheep that is how it feels. I try and take responsibility for arranging situations that I have no business trying to arrange and then I stress out that it’s not coming together the way I want. I know I am saying the same things as you but I wanted to comment about how much I agree and how cool it will be if we can learn to see the seeming misfortune and randomness as the perfectly worked out plan that it is.


    1. Karen Smith

      Thank you for your feedback Mary. And thank you for our talk at the conference; that was very helpful.

      The path God has taken me on has showed me that I’m not at rest because I don’t trust Him, and I didn’t really believe what I had been taught by my Pastor Teachers. I believed it on one level, kindov like a cognitive level, but then the challenge from the Holy Spirit was, “then why aren’t you living it?” Because I didn’t really trust Him and wasn’t willing to step out in faith really believing what I had learned (and what I claimed to believe); I wasn’t really totally dependent on Him. When I stepped out in faith trusting God, applying those principles I’d learned, that is when the changes came and the rest. For me, it’s been an issue of faith. Not just believing the Bible and doctrinal principles we are taught, but that experiential faith, living it. I think that when we learn to live by faith, the events around us don’t seem random because we understand/see God’s Hand in it all. We see how God is using those situations as opportunities to crack the outer shell of the old man, to develop our faith muscles so the new man becomes stronger, to change old incorrect ways of thinking, to advance in the spiritual life…to become totally dependent on Him.

      Yeah, it would be really cool to see my problems/misfortunes from the very beginning as beautiful as that wave, and to totally enjoy the ride God has planned for me every time…to not get my eyes off Him. The goal. 🙂

      Keep surfing~~

      Karen S


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