Today, I want to introduce you to my Dad. I asked him to write down some of the powerful thoughts he’s shared with me from the moment this battle started that have helped me to keep my focus where it should be. His words have just helped me so much, and I knew that it could be of help to others who may read, because I believe we all face significant battles. Satan is active seeking to pull us away and he spares no one in his quest. So, I pray that these words may sink in to your heart as well, and they can help you guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
Here’s Dad’s thoughts, I’ve added some emphasis:
When we arrived that fateful Tuesday morning, I saw clearly what I had detected in your voice on the phone. No “wringing of hands”… no “fretful wailing”…just a weary surrender to an overwhelming enemy …cancer…advanced cancer…active cancer…appearing out of nowhere, compounding the weight of woe over the loss of our precious Anna.
I begged you not to lose hope, but rather to prepare yourselffor the life and death “battle for your mind and heart.” Satan is tremendously skilled in prompting our minds to focus on the seemingly insurmountable foes that present themselves during our lifetime. He whispers “give up”…”give in”…“just let it go.” He loves to come to us in the darkness of night, on the dreary days, in the lonely hours, and when we are physically weak. And he is very good at what he does.
Some 2000 years ago, Paul pleaded with us to battle for our hearts and minds. When the sudden onset of a powerful calamity threatens to overwhelm, he exhorts us to…(now, take a deep breath)
take our eyes OFF the danger before us
close our eyes
reminisce about the many, many times, the Almighty God has powerfully intervened and come to our rescue
and give thanks.
And with that renewed recognition and trust in the ALMIGHTY, we pray and make “supplication” (i.e. beg with every fiber of hope and assurance in our being!). The certain outcome is “the peace that passes understanding” that “will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” So says Paul in Philippians 4:6-7.
So my precious Sara, fight hard for your mind and heart! In this spiritual and physical “tug of war” in which you are now engaged, don’t be overcome by the view of the powerful enemy that would pull you into the abyss before you, but instead, ever hold on to the “rope of hope.”
Look over your shoulder, and see the powerful armies of God who are pulling with you, and let the strength of His mighty arms pull you to safety!
Now my words (I always have to have the last word, huh Dad?):
Dad was more brief here than I thought he’d be. He’s concise, I’m verbose – no surprise there.
He has said to me repeatedly, think about what God has done! Focus THERE, not on the enemy!!
All the medical community and doctors can do is define and measure the size of the enemy (the cancer, in this case). But no matter what is found:
THAT IS NOTHING COMPARED TO THE POWER THAT GOD CAN UNLEASH IF HE WANTS TO DO SO.
So, Dad asks me, where are your eyes? Where is your mind?
There is our battle. But even that, we don’t fight alone. That’s the beauty of the Holy Spirit – that can HELP us in our weakness!
So when we try and encourage someone who is weak, who we know is engaged in a battle, I don’t believe it is helpful to tell them, “It’s ok to feel scared, it’s ok to be afraid, it’s ok to doubt, it’s ok to not be strong all the time.” (Unless they have already shared those emotions with you, then you can RESPOND that way.) Instead we need to remind each other (not in a preachy, judgmental way) – let’s take our eyes off that, off the scary enemy, and let’s force our minds back to Jesus, let’s look at God together, and remind ourselves of His promises and His actions in the past. His power!!
What Dad says Paul says is true – the only certainty He says we have from those supplications, is the PEACE. Not the answers exactly as we’re asking for them, but PEACE.
But from where I’m sitting, that is enough. The peace is indescribable, and it blocks the fear. When peace fills you, the fear cannot take hold. And when you are thankful (i.e. savoring!) you don’t see the enemy.
It is certain. Paul says it. God says it. It’s certain.
Do you really believe it? It’s either true or it’s false. It’s not a partial peace – it’s not a grey area.
THE PEACE IS CERTAIN if we will only battle in this way!
I stand as a witness to these things. For I have seen its certainty.