The battle of the mind, oh, how it ebbs and flows.
So much good in my life right now, and yet so much difficult. I have much to be thankful for, and yet at night, always at night (though not every night, thank God) I battle the demon of discouragement.
As this journey with cancer stretches out over many slow hours, days, weeks, months, I grow weary and discouraged.
Most of the time I feel a great relief in knowing Who is in control and knowing that it is not me. There is an enormous relief of pressure to know that a greater, infinitely wise Power controls both my destiny and my daily adventures.
However, some of the time, I feel like a marionette. A marionnette whose strings are being jerked along through a very sinister, dark play, a painted smile on my lips but hollow to the core and powerless, so powerless.
This is falsehood, an image of Satan, and I intellectually know it. But it is a falsehood which repeatedly comes to mind and I fight. I fight with the only weapon in my arsenal: my Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
I woke in the night one night last week, and wept. The discouragement demon swelled. Praise God, He reminded me of my Sword, and I pulled out my Bible. I rarely do what I’m about to describe, but it was dark, I didn’t want to wake Brian, and I also needed the Spirit to lead: I decided to just open the Bible to a “random” (read: God-chosen) page and read, hoping God would take me to life-giving words that I needed in that moment. I thumbed across the closed page edges and then pulled it apart quickly, letting it open at a “random” page.
Oh how God provided! For these are the words I read, and they are ones I don’t recall reading before:
Psalms 70:16-24 (emphasis mine)
“I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord;
I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.
Since my youth, O God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am OLD AND GRAY, do not forsake me, O God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your might to all who are to come,
Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God,
you who have done great things.
Who, O God, is like you?
Though you HAVE MADE ME SEE TROUBLES, MANY AND BITTER,
YOU WILL RESTORE MY LIFE AGAIN;
from the depths of the earth
YOU WILL AGAIN BRING ME UP
You will increase my honor
and COMFORT ME ONCE AGAIN.
I will praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to you –
I, whom you have redeemed.
My tongue will tell of your righteous acts
all day long,
for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.
I believe I can praise and live joyfully even now, but I also believe a day is coming when this cancer will be a thing of the past, a distant memory, and even more JOY will fill my days. I believe I will get to say as Job says, “The Lord made [Job] prosperous again and gave Him twice as much as he had before. The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.” I believe in my heart of heart those days are coming. It is the waiting that is hard. But God gives me the strength when I need it. He equips for each day, one day at a time.
Thank you, O My Father.