And you shall know, understand, and realise that I am in the midst of Israel and that I the Lord am your God and there is none else. My people shall never be put to shame. Joel 2:17
I have been reflecting on the time when Victoria was diagnosed and how my relationship with God went to a new level. After the initial shock, numbness and desperate crying out to God, I believe it was the Holy Spirit that prompted me to start thanking God for all the good things surrounding this horrendous circumstance. And that act of thanking God for the good things, enabled me to see that He had gone before us and He was in the midst of all that was going on.
Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMP
I have shared this before, but felt to share it again today, so I pray it brings encouragement to you and helps you to know that God is in the midst ....
Three days after the tumour was discovered I started to write a list of things thank God for. The list started on a bike ride, after a time of pouring out my heart, then being still in my mind, and the thoughts of thankfulness just started coming.
When I finished my bike ride I opened my journal and started making a list. It included things like:
- like friends with the specific medical knowledge needed for the diagnosis after the initial doctor’s misdiagnosis.
- my mum’s renewed passport arriving on the day of diagnosis, so she was able to fly from New Zealand to be with us on the following day.
- Victoria’s health and well-being, aside from the impact of the tumour, she was healthy and not in any pain.
- My sister and her family, who live in New Zealand, were holidaying in Byron Bay and had planned to visit us the following week, so they just came down a week earlier.
After a while the rest of the household woke up and the quite time of journalling was over! However, I do remember throughout the morning, more thankful thoughts popping into my head, and me going quickly to my desk to write them in the journal before they disappeared ...
- Marshall’s school teacher had already been in contact with parents via email, two weeks before the first term of 2011 commenced, which meant I was able to email her about our situation, and she called on the Junior School teachers to pray.
- I had finished breastfeeding Alexandra in December, so didn’t have to do a quick painful wean.
- Earlier in the week I had done a lot of cooking for school lunches. The freezer was full of muffins and cupcakes.
- All the school uniforms were ready for the start of the new school year
Constructing this list made it so clear to me that God had put things in place, knowing that this was going to happen. I am not saying that God caused the tumour to be there, but rather acknowledging that we live in a fallen world and our God is all knowing. In the words of the Toby Mac song, Undeniable, He had 'orchestrated all of this' (these things that I was thankful for), so that we would know that He was with us.
Your work doesn't stop with me
Your signature's on everything we see
From the hills of Negril, Jamaica
To the kid that the doctor said would never make it
Which is harder to believer that You don't exist
Or that You orchestrated all of this
Living in a world that is so confusing
You're the argument I'm never losing
'Cause I believe
Undeniable, You are, You are, You are
Unmistakable, You are, You are
You're the bright and morning star
But still You speak to my heart
Undeniable - Toby Mac
In guiding me to make that list, God was speaking to my heart, reminding me that He does not leave us nor forsake us. He is with us wherever we go.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 AMP
He was reminding me that He was trustworthy and faithful, two truths that have carried us since that day in January 2011.
Question for today, is there a cirumstance that is consuming your world now, and are you struggling to see/believe that God is in the midst? Why not ask Him right now, to help find one thing to be thankful for, and then watch that list grow, along with your confidence that God is with you.
Haven't I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don't be timid, don't get discouraged. GOD, your God, is with you every step you take. Joshua 1:9 The Message