When I hear that someone has just received devastating news like a bad diagnosis, a runaway child, a wayward spouse, or the death of a loved one, this is the letter I send them. This specific letter is the one I sent to our friend, Joni Burchett. The same lady you read about in When God Breaks Your Heart, who lost the little girl, was later diagnosed with breast cancer.
I don’t know if I told you, but they took me off the cancer meds after six years! Our prayer has been, “Please let Ed live and serve.” Now it has changed, “Please let Ed live and serve without the meds.”
I say this to encourage you. The dailyness of this makes it so hard to see past the weakness and the disappointment. Here is a sentence the Lord gave me when I was dying and fighting for one more day of life: I am as alive today as anyone. He helped me realize that until I take my last breath, He still has plans for me (Ephesians 2:10) and I could not conclude that this was it. So, I got up, and asked Him for strength for the next minute, sometimes for every minute for a couple of days. Then for the next hour, the next day, the next week…
I’m Still Here!
Sure enough, at last count, seven men I know pretty well, about my age–guys I fought fire with, men I served with in ministry, a few who stood at my bedside with panic in their eyes at my malaise or talked on the phone with compassion and pity in their voice–are dead.
Think of it, friend, people who are praying for you now are only as alive as you. It’s not the meds or the docs, it’s the Lord who determines when death comes to His children. Until then, it’s Him and Him alone who controls the quality of your life.
Two Things to Do
I knew the Lord wanted me to do two things: Pray for healing, and I still do. Find the best doctors and do what they say, which I still do…mostly.
So our dear friend, know that our prayers are prayers of faith…and bold. We’re not mealy-mouthing the evangelical jive, “Only God’s will be done.” Of course His will is going to be done; He’s God! He loves you; He loves us; He cares more than we can know; and HE ANSWERS PRAYER. So, we’re going to pray our heart: Let Joni live to see her grandchildren grow up and please give her relief.
But remember this: Every day you wake up you are as alive on that day as any person on earth.
And every day you are alive is a day the Lord Jesus has something for you to do. It may be to survive your chemo treatment. It may be to sleep and pray. But there is a reason he gave you breath.
Never forget that every day you wake up is another day that the Lord is giving you hope that there will be more.
Like every Christian who has ever faced a tragedy like yours, the battle of faith is daily. Believe Him for today and ask Him for the faith to believe Him for tomorrow.