“I’ll take door number…what? Number one with this combo? Number two, the ‘diet plate’ version that sounds more appealing? Or do I want the full meal deal behind door number three?” Trying to determine my upcoming cancer treatment has been not unlike staring at a menu with mix n’ match options. Although, the ante is upped a thousand times beyond whether or not I’ll have heartburn afterward!
If I had to win the ‘best cancer patient decision-maker’ award based on my confidence, I’d lose for sure. Four years ago I thought I had so much information to consider and process and pray about the first time around; but that was like splashing about in a wading pool compared to the flood waters my husband and I have been navigating only by the grace of God and a lot of prayer and intercession this past month.
In the end, most of the decisions have been made, peace is present, and in two weeks I’ll undergo breast cancer surgery. The journey that began five full weeks ago will reach the first destination, and as I consider what is out in front of me, I see the route heading right for the mountain’s interior again. I really didn’t know the Lord was so intent on me becoming a spelunker (one who makes a hobby of exploring and studying caves). But I know enough to understand that there is treasure – so much treasure – hidden in the recesses of the darkness. Seeing that I’ll have plenty of time on the ‘inside,’ I am consciously choosing to turn my spirit toward discovery of all the richness my heavenly Father has waiting for me, even though my heart and my flesh has cried out these past weeks, “is there any other way?”
Even Jesus in His humanity cried out the same question. “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me…” His obedience back then in the face of His own suffering – the setting aside of His will and the acceptance of His Father’s will – became the very life-flow I have drawn on to be able to also choose that place of obedience and acceptance of Abba’s will for me.
How about you? Have you stood in front of a blazing furnace especially designed to consume your fleshly nature (and maybe even some of your flesh!), and been asked by the LORD if you are willing to step into the middle of it?
I guarantee, if you’re human – and we all are – you do not answer easily or quickly until the Person of Christ has become more important than all that you stand to lose. It is the place of the Great Exchange. Many will decide it is too costly, turn and walk away. Others will hang around the entrance this side of the threshold, but choose to be content with simply receiving reports called back from time to time. And then there are the few – the ones Christ said would find the narrow way, count the cost, and in a decisive moment of reckless abandon deliberately choose to bank everything on Who and what God has said He is and will do.
When your test comes, as it inevitably will, what choice will you make? That depends on what kind of choices you have been making all along, before you ever get there. You can only have confidence in the face of the test if you have already been practicing the building of your faith and the dismantling of your flesh.
David knew what it was to stare into the face of his enemies. He also knew his God in the most intimate way…from a heart that was confident in whom he knew his LORD to be. The One who would – on coming out the other side of the mountain – display His goodness in all its glory in the land of the living.
My reckless heart has chosen and with David, I say…
“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:13-14