The last three weeks have been a platform for the Presence of God. I’m not sure how to even speak of the ways He has shown Himself to me, except to say He’s been very busy and very real.
This morning Wayne and I shared companioned silence as we soaked in the Word, studied and read. I have been reading Hannah Hurnard’s autobiography – Miss Hurnard being the author of Hinds’ Feet on High Places, one of the books the LORD placed in my hands over 20 years ago and has used to bring understanding and transformation to this Much-Afraid. (I find it very interesting that I have had the little volume of Hearing Heart, her own story, for probably years sitting on my bookshelf and had not read it until this past month). God’s timing is always perfect, and He knew that where I find myself today is precisely when my heart needed to hear the message and promises He had for me contained within.
I have been asking Abba these last three weeks a lot of questions surrounding this recurrence of cancer. Asking, because I’ve wanted to understand what His purpose is; what He is doing through this trial in the natural; where and how it fits in with all the promises and pathway He has been leading us. It is twenty-one days later since this saga began, and this morning He began to bring a myriad of life threads together, resulting in a deeper understanding of what He’s up to than we had the day we were delivered the cancer diagnosis. I say ‘we’ because my husband and I are living out this story together. The two are one, and a threefold cord, with the LORD in the center, is not easily broken. How the enemy has tried, but He has not prevailed. Nor will he.
One of my questions has been, ‘why four years later?’ As any cancer survivor knows, it is a relief to hit the two-year cancer-free marker, with the next one being the five-year marker. I have been aiming for it, only to have come into the enemy’s sights, so to speak, at precisely the four-year point, even in the same month. To some, it may seem inconsequential – ‘Why wonder? You have cancer again so the timing doesn’t really matter, does it?’
But it does matter. And another question, much more serious, that has been echoing in my heart is, ‘Abba, is this unto death?’
Sitting on the patio this beautiful summer evening as I write, I grin and laugh because of the scripture of promise the Lord led me to Saturday morning, which I studied out in the literal translation shortly before I began writing this blog post. Here it is…
“When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden. For three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must not be eaten.24In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the LORD. 25But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:23-25
One must understand that Wayne and I are vineyard lovers. Not as in wine-bibbers (though we highly recommend Latah Creek’s Huckleberry Riesling, served at our daughter’s wedding…I’m sure Jesus would have liked it!), but because years ago the desire to live John 15 in this life, this side of heaven – with an abundance of ‘much fruit’ – was lit like a fire within us that has burned with increasing fervor. Last week I wrote about Shammahs Field (see The Enemy’s Been Defeated, July 26) and our cleansing and defending from the enemy the ‘land’ of our lives. Part of cleansing means tearing down, uprooting, and carrying out the rubble, but it doesn’t end there. We have been busily tending, fertilizing and growing new plantings of the LORD in its place. New ‘fruit trees’ with the promise of abundance of yield and a great harvest. Our hearts’ desire.
To be given the promise yesterday morning that in the fourth year the fruit of my life since cancer struck is now made holy and that in the fifth year I may eat its fruit and my harvest will be increased was, I believe, the LORD telling me that this bout with cancer signals both a completion of something deep within that He has been doing in my life and the first fruits of His increase and bounty of Holy Fruit.
Anticipating the harvest…cheers!
P.S. This is too incredible to not tell…while I was nearing the end of writing this post and had already written about the vineyard, I received a call that I let go to voicemail, not recognizing the number. When I listened to the message, I was told that a gift had been left on our front porch…a bottle of Latah Creek Huckleberry Riesling, some homemade cookies, and a card. It was from one of my dearest soul friends who said we had been on her heart, and though she couldn’t remember our favorite wine, she was taking a chance. For the second time today, I have shared an incredible laugh at the detail with which Abba has been meeting me right where I am in the moment! Tomorrow morning we meet with the breast surgeon to receive the results of last week’s MRI, PET scan, and possibly the genetic testing if it has been Fed-Ex’d in time for the appointment. I do not fear…whatever tomorrow brings, the LORD has made it a point to let me know He is right here and I will yet live to enjoy the abundant fruit He promises to those who abide in Him and He in them. And this blog post? It’s only one story from the last 3 weeks.