I absolutely cannot comprehend the thought that only one year ago this month I was receiving my first of 4 chemotherapy treatments for my diagnosis of NHL; my “incurable” form of cancer; found by “surprise.”
And now, one year later, a new head of grey hair (that I, of course, immediately colored), and a stamp of “in remission” posted on my forehead by the good docs. You would think each day for me is filled with abounding happiness, gratitude, and celebration for this second chance to really life to the fullest.
So you would think…
But the truth is, despite my brush with death, life is still life. Every day is a fight to regenerate my heart and renew my mind for the things of Jesus over the things of my flesh.
In fact, despite this season of ‘remission,’ I find myself battling new and sometimes overwhelming feelings of fear and anxiety over the “incurable” part of my diagnosis. To have a doctor look me in the eyes and say, “This cancer will most likely come back,” well—it is super easy for me to wake up each morning thinking that today could be the day of my demise. (oh, the drama—wink)
There are days when the energy to simply fight that singular thought seems beyond me; greater than my faith.
But alongside my fear, God has allowed me access into His more miraculous (and accurate) thoughts…(oh mercy, I can hardly stand it)! And He has given me the words to speak out of my mouth each and every time that nasty fear and doubt over my future begins to cast its ugly shadow over my victorious day…
“If I can just touch his robe, then I will be healed.” (Mark 5:28)
This statement was spoken by a woman who most certainly seemed a more ‘hopeless’ case than myself. In fact, this woman had experienced much more pain and suffering than I may ever know.
Instead of hearing the words, “in remission” from her doctors, for 12 years all she heard was, “I’m sorry, there is nothing more we can do for you.” And sure, the money is pretty tight for the Van Norman’s right now, but this woman was just flat-out broke! She spent every penny she had just hoping beyond hope the next doctor would have the answer that might take away her pain, depression, and embarrassment.
But on one day, just another ordinary day, this woman was about to experience complete life-change simply because she would choose to believe the truth of God despite her circumstance.
If I could just touch His robe—it was the one thought that pushed her to get up that morning despite her pain, go outside and face the crowds, look like a fool if need be as she pushed her way through, and risk being beaten to a pulp, all for the sake of one hope—to touch the garment of Jesus.
What great faith! What breath-taking conviction for one like me who has struggled to ‘believe God bigger’ pretty much my entire life. What amazing hope for healing displayed by a woman who had nothing left but the hem of the robe of a man whom she had simply “over-heard” was a healer.
This one sentence has touched my mind and heart so deeply, and I pray it does the same for you.
Do we have faith like this woman? Is our faith so recklessly abandoned to Jesus that we would risk everything—our comfort, our reputation, maybe even our life; simply to touch his clothes?
Do we truly believe God is bigger than what we can see? That He is so much greater than our circumstance?
What if we thought and acted like this woman more often? What if we all had a faith this radical? What if we got up each morning and choose to break all the ‘norms’ just so that we might catch a glimpse of Jesus in our life?
Would our life change?
And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” (Mark 5:34)
One day, all of our suffering will truly be over; all of our doubt, fear, and anxiety will be laid to rest. But until that day, may we awake each morning desperate to do whatever it takes just to touch the end of his robe.