Earlier in the week, I was reminiscing with my Sister in Law, Jill, about the Friday we got the news (while she was visiting), Sophia's tumor was contained. She said it felt like we won the lottery that day. That is the perfect description.
I've been thinking about that day because Friday or Monday will be another watershed moment for us on Team Sophia. Dr. Muscal, our primary oncologist, is chomping at the bit as much as we are to see how the tumor has responded to the chemo. I have been, albeit painfully, praying it is gone. That is their medical expectation, but it is my spiritual one. God is working amazing things, of which I see very little, so our anticipation of actually SEEING what He has been up to is enormously high.
Today, perhaps because it is Epiphany, The Good Lord let me have a little taste of His purpose in all of this. Not just mine, or Dave's, or Nats or Sophia's. But His purpose - why we are enduring this trial and test of our faiths to such a degree.
I love Paul's writings. They are deeply challenging and it sometimes takes me reading the verse multiple times to "get" what he is saying. When I first started my journey 7+ years ago, I hated him. But respect and love for his teaching and his particular relationship to Christ have grown greatly, because I have taken the time to read what he wrote and about him personally.
Today, though, it is something he said, versus wrote, that rang the doorbell of my heart. In Acts, chapter 26, he is testifying (again) for his life. You see, the Jews didn't like a traitor, especially one who used to be their MVP. So, a lot of them tried to either kill him themselves, or like Jesus, get the government to do it.
So, here Paul is again, in front of the authorities. He doesn't (much) plead his case as a Roman citizen, but rather, presents his personal testimony of Jesus in such a logically profound way, that one of the officials even accuses him of being TOO smart.
There are a lot of ways that you can explain to someone why faith is important, why Jesus is the Savior, how to be saved, etc. But what I have been craving is a succinct reason.
I want purpose.
I want meaning.
I want to know what it is all about.
And here it is:
But I have had God's help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to small and great. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen - that the Christ would suffer, and as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles.
That's Acts 26:22-23.
The reason I, we, all of us are here and going through what is happening in our lives, is so we can realize just how much God loves us, helps us and how He so badly wants to use us to proclaim that His Son came as the a flashlight, to led us out of darkness, forever.
It doesn't matter if I/we have a huge platform, or just make a difference in our children. It is all for eternal glory and honor.
I am relieved to be in that place, as Paul was that day. He, too, was under extreme pressure, but could stand so confidently and declare his purpose for being.
This won't be the last time The Lord needs to remind me of this simple fact. I anticipate I'll need to hear it again tomorrow. But for today, thank you Lord for this clarity. Thank you that it comes on a day beset with challenge. Thank you for reminding me, that even up to this very minute, you are helping our family. And, too, that it has eternal meaning. Only You can bring that kind of light into our darkness.
Only You, Jesus, can make it beautiful. Thank You for doing it again!