Well, I’m not sure why I haven’t been posting. Off the top of my head I’m not sure what all I’ve been doing. Working some on Sky, doing Morning Routines, making cards (I have a lot of friends and family with events in March), walking Quigley, going to the Y, doing Bible Class, thinking about Bible Class and writing in my journal…
I got my surgery date two days after I saw the GYN oncologist (see last blog post). It was for three weeks off (a little less than two weeks now as I write this), the only spot the doctor had open at my hospital of choice and with my regular gynecologist to assist. Even if I took the latter two out of the picture, the most I could have gained was four days earlier. So I was looking at much longer wait than I was anticipating.
During this time, Pastor John has been teaching about patience. About how patience is part of our calling, and part of our bringing glory to God — when we trust Him and wait patiently, without anxiety, tension or frustration, and then He comes through for us… that brings Him glory.
So it was pretty clear to me the moment the surgery scheduler told me it was going to be three weeks, that this was part of God’s training in developing patience.
The next day, after all the carrying on about cancer and talk of how this was going to be resolved quickly, I was a bit unnerved at the prospect that now I was going to have to wait three weeks. But I assured myself that the oncologist had my best interests in mind, and is an expert in this area. He’d looked at my charts and the tests and the ultrasound, and surely if he thought three weeks would lead to a major downturn in my status, he’d not allow this to go that long. In fact, it’s likely he knew his schedule was full when we met, because when I suggested the possibility of surgery “next week” he did NOT say it would be then. He said nothing. I started to take comfort in that…
And then realized how ridiculous I was being. Putting my trust in a mere man? What was I thinking? Yes, the doc probably does have my best interests in mind, more or less, but God absolutely and positively does, far more than any man ever could.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love him, to those who are called according to His purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28
“I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not for evil to give you a future and a hope.” ~ Jeremiah 33:3
He sent His Son to die for me. Of course He has my best interests in mind.
“If God is for us, who against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” ~ Romans 8:31b-32
What’s more, the doc might be able to make a good guess as to what’s going on in my uterus from the tests… but that’s all it is right now: a guess. He even said as much, adding we won’t really know what’s there until he does the surgery.
God, on the other hand, knows exactly what’s going on in there — now and in three weeks. God’s expertise — Omniscience — buries any paltry insights the doc may have gained over his years in the field.
Moreover, God could have provided a spot in the schedule far earlier, if that was the best thing; He could provide a cancellation, could have popped up a red flag, if there was trouble and we needed to get to the surgery sooner. He did not.
Because this is not about my physical condition. This is about teaching me to trust Him, to know Him, to wait in Him. To be at peace in Him.
Oh! But what if His will for me is to go through (fill in the most horrible outcome possible for the situation)?!
That morning as I had this thought… as this wretched thought wormed its way into my consciousness to torment me… I realized it was an old enemy. One that’s been a peace-killer for me my entire Christian life.
So I decided not to go down the path it was suggesting I take. Instead I told myself, “Why not wait until the event happens and then you can say, ‘This is horrible, but I know God wants me to go through it for my highest and best.’ That way I’d at least gain peace from it instead of giving myself the heebie-jeebies with something that is purely speculative.
It’s an evil arrogant thought, really. I presume to guess God’s will for me and I always malign Him when I do so, because it’s always something horrible. For example, I hear a noise when I’m home alone. And I think, Oh, no! Is that a burglar? And then, being a novelist and well versed in such things, I concoct an entire story wherein the burglar/rapist breaks in, attempts to assault me, I shoot him dead and then have to go to jail for murder where I am tormented by my fellow inmates so I can show the power of God in my strength and peace and joy.
Wow, it looks even more stupid and arrogant when I set it down like that than when I just think it. And how ironic that I’m scaring myself silly with a potential scenario I’m conjuring up as an avenue for me to bring God glory with my great strength and trust in Him. Something is not computing here.
And furthermore, look how mean I’m making God out to be. Here we’ve been studying the fruit of the Spirit as a manifestation of who God is — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control — yet when I get in these situations the God I conjure up is stern, cruel, tight-lipped, legalistic.
“This is for your own good,” my imaginary God says. “All this stuff you don’t want to do, that’s what I have for you to do. And the things you love, and like to do — none of that. It’s only going to be hardness and sorrow and suffering for you.”
No room in that thinking for God wanting me to have an abundant life full of blessing. Or wanting to fill me with power and joy and peace.
So instead of trying to guess what awful thing this phony God I’ve created may have planned for me, I decided to concentrate instead on His goodness, His grace and His kindness. On His faithfulness, and gentleness and love.
I’ll concentrate on the fact that He’s my loving Father who has everything under control. He knows exactly what’s going on in my body right now. He could speed it up or slow it down. He could take it all away in an instant. His timing is perfect.
In 2 Timothy 3:10, 11 Paul is talking to Timothy about all the trials and persecutions he’s gone through, and ends with, “and out of them all the Lord delivered me.”
Pastor John has recently spent a number of lessons on this verse. It’s one, says he, that applies to all of us as believers. And that’s to be the focus of my thinking, not my lame what-ifs.