“Thankfulness” pencil study from photograph. Marcia Carole (Photograph not mine)
God is patient with me. I imagine He is with you as well. I was laughing with my friend Judy, who lives in Escondido, last night. Whenever I think I am about to get going on some self-prescribed adventure or work, God calmly says, “Take a seat, Marcia.” He does this sort of speaking by: having people ignore me when I volunteer for work, or by causing me to sleep for seventeen hours or by the sheer weight of His gravity pummeling my body so I limp back into bed. So, I take a seat and rest from all my labor, my restlessness, my over-achiever personality and my passion for sharing Jesus through art and story.
Enter my friend, Gretchen, who pops over for a visit and walk. She brings me a book about being thankful. I have a tremendous respect for Gretchen, so I assume it is a good book. Little did I know God would use it to search some deeper layers of my heart. I thought we might get to the place where I say to God, I am thankful for the cancer, and we have. I’m not saying thank you to God for the cancer because I’m a legalist who, by golly, is going to follow the letter of the law – give thanks in all situations, with a teeth gritted, tight fisted, boy, isn’t Christianity fun type attitude.
So, why do I thank God for the cancer? I thank Him today for cancer, because I trust Him. I trust Him now more than I did three months ago, in order for me to do this today. I have come to the realization that He knows what is best for my life, not me. I mean this more deeply, less superficially. Having me have cancer is His plan A for our relationship. Mine and His. Ultimately, what is best between God and me will benefit others as well, but that will be secondary. I have no idea how that will look, and it may not happen this side of heaven.
I don’t know if you know the story of Jesus healing ten lepers; only one leper came back to thank Jesus. The other nine hurried off. One leper took the time to be with Jesus and thank Him from the deepest part of his heart. The leper honored Jesus with thanksgiving. He was the only one of the ten who had a relationship birthed that day with Jesus. What an amazing, happy moment that must have been for both of them.
While I am here, in my chair, parked with God, I want to honor Him by thanking Him for the cancer. Because He is a good God, I can trust Him for this assignment He has given me. Thank you, Lord, for the cancer.
“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” – Psalm 50:23