Well, it is 4:45 am on Sunday morning here in Nashville, Tennessee, so you know what that means. Time for your weekly dose of half-conscious insanity from good old me. Seriously, who can expect very rational thoughts at this time of the day? Yes, mom, I did take a sleeping pill last night in attempt to get a better night’s sleep. However, since I’ve been awake since 4 am, my body apparently didn’t feel the need for more dozing.
So my question for you today is: Are you dizzy yet?
A friend recently told me that I am a “psalmist,” that my writing reads much like David’s in the psalms, where he almost sounds manic-depressive. And while I don’t feel that I should even be mentioned in the same sentence as the inspired David with his beautiful, poetic writing, I do relate to the extreme range of emotions. In fact, I’d thought to myself months ago that I would have to liken the ride to manic-depression. Because, oh my, the highs are so very high, and the lows are so very low. Aren’t you glad the Psalms are in the Bible? They put words to my thoughts and someone once said, “We read to know we are not alone” – it is good to feel in company with David with my emotions.
I am finding that the analogy of an “emotional roller coaster” is very apropos. Oh the exhilarating freedom of the high points! I wish I could find the right words to express my joy at “normal days.” Days where I can get up and clean up the kitchen, unload the dishwasher, help my boys get dressed and ready for the day, etc. I have subjected dear friends to dripping, sappy thank you e-mails after just one ladies’ dinner out because I was so consumed with love, and joy and thankfulness. On my good days, I just feel I will burst because my heart is so full. I try to appear “normal” and not about to explode with ecstasy, but if I run into you and I just smother you with hugs I hope you’ll understand why. (There, that ought to be sufficient to make people keep their distance from me at church. Hee hee.) Understand, to me it’s like I’m at the top of the roller coaster peak and I can’t help but to raise my arms and squeal.
And then there are the stomach-churning (very literally) drops; the lows. It’s equally hard for me to explain how alone I feel, how desperate for relief, how heavy the burden of cancer is. It feels as if I’m at a playground and every one else is walking around free, but I am stuck waist-deep in a deep sandbox, trudging my way around one slow step at a time. I look around at all of you outside of the sandbox and wonder, “Oh, what would it be like to be free, really free of this? To be able to run, and jump and skip outside of this heavy sand?” And to be honest, even on my best days it still feels like at least my feet are buried in the sand, for the cancer never really leaves my mind; it is a burden I can’t quite shake even on the best of days. I long for the day I can shake free of this sand and just FLY! (And I wonder why some of you AREN’T flying…)
So back to my question: Are you dizzy?
See that is the truly remarkable thing to me. You have chosen to strap yourself into this roller coaster, willingly. You have chosen to bear this burden with me, to fight with me, and you don’t have to do so. It amazes me and strengthens me in a way, again, that I can’t explain. To know I am not really on this roller coaster alone. To know you choose to be with me. How can I thank you? Please, seriously, someone tell me how I can do so. How?
One of you, or probably several of you, have written in the guestbook or in messages to me to “remember the thousands who are fighting this with you.” To be honest, I haven’t felt the truth of those words until just recently. It felt like no one else was having to fight, that I’m the only one doing the fighting, because my body is the only one physically subjected to the fight. What exactly are YOU fighting? Are you fighting God in your prayers? That idea never sat well with me either. No one should be fighting God.
But then a couple of scriptures have gained my attention:
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
Um, of course. I’m a little slow on the uptake sometimes. I don’t believe God has given me this disease. I believe he created these bodies to live eternally; that was His original plan. He is the life-giver, the creator, He hates death. However, because of sin, the wrath of God is also at work in this world. Because of sin, we are vulnerable to the dark forces while in this body. Dark forces have sought my earthly life and have given me this cancer. THAT is what you choose to attack with me, that is what you fight against. I’ve heard it said that every time a Christian prays, a legion of God’s army in the heavenly realms is deployed. I love that picture-that our murmurings to God give an “attack” command to forces in the spiritual world, forces stronger than we can understand. Mmm, good stuff. And you choose to ask the creator of the universe to send his forces to save me. WOW. Wow. You ARE FIGHTING.
And this verse also caught my attention: “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.” Colossians 2:9-10 Did you catch that? Our struggle is against “power and authorities” and Christ is the “head over every power and authority.”
Can you feel my excitement? My struggle is not against flesh and blood (boy do I have to remind myself of that a lot) but against the powers and authorities, that, um, Jesus is HEAD OVER. And I. have. Jesus.!!! He’s come and made his home with me. Wow, I’m feeling a wee bit powerful today.
So, as you can tell, we’ve reached one of the peaks of the roller coaster. I hope you are enjoying the view.
Here’s just a little more for you. Now raise your hands high and squeal with delight with me as we take these precious words into our hearts:
“What then shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?…Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any POWERS, neither height nor depth, nor ANYTHING ELSE IN ALL CREATION, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, who has given them to me, is GREATER THAN ALL, no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10: 28-30
Are you feeling un-snatchable?
Are you feeling like a conqueror?
’cause ya are!
Are you dizzy yet?
Thanks for strapping in.