Right now, I am struggling. My mom has stage 4 cancer. She started radiation and a chemo pill last Friday. The prognosis for Glioblastoma is two years at the most with surgery, chemo pills and radiation. One day, I think that I accept it, and I am at peace. The next day, I feel overwhelming guilt for not seeing her. It is hard to balance the 1-1.5 hours drive there, with the same drive back, while still being there waiting for my kids at the bus stop at 2:40 PM. We always visit on a Saturday or Sunday, and next week I will start going to doctor appointments, which is even farther away, at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. I am so happy to go to these doctor appointments. I get to walk through the whole experience and hear the doctor’s words, for the first time. This is the first time I was told about the times of the doctor appointments, so I could arrange my schedule and go. Truly, God is good. I am so thankful to be included in this process. God did his wondrous works for this to happen.
I was thinking about our bible study leader saying that sometimes we have to go through the fire, to burn off all the things we don’t need in our walk with Christ. I pray that God will do this for me. I pray that I can let go of all the past hurts and ways of coping to find a new way to live according to God’s will.
I am always fascinated by Paul in the bible. He admits that he was not a follower of Christ. “I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man.” Paul persecuted and killed Christians. Paul completely changed. Paul changed to spread the gospel of Christ. Paul went from an example of how to not to behave, to a Christian role model. This is how God can work in our lives.
Now, his letters in the bible are some of my favorite scriptures to read. They are encouraging and tell me how to live my life.
Paul talks about how he obtained mercy from God. Believing in God and Jesus Christ completely changes his life around. He went from a persecutor to an example for others. “I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.”
Paul did not know God, so he behaved in ignorance. Once Paul knew God, he completely changed. I often feel guilty about this part, because I know God, and I have changed, but I am still fighting to change completely. As humans, we are not perfect, so we will always struggle with sin. Yet, I still want to do better.
Glory to God for His Grace
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
–1 Timothy 1:12-14 (NKJV)
I love Paul’s testimony, because it shows us that everyone can change, not through their own power, but through the power of Jesus Christ. If God can forgive and turn around the life of Paul, imagine what God can do for us!
Sometimes, we have to go trough the storm and walk through the fire. God will help us get through it and change us along the way. Once we go to God, we don’t leave the same way we started.
I pray that if anyone reading this is going through a storm, that God will help you through it. I pray that God will change you along the way, so when you look back, you will see how God brought good out of the storm in your life.