Monday, November 1, 2010

Battleground

We pulled out of the church parking lot early yesterday afternoon after our monthly Moms in Christ Bible Study. Faith and Jed were cheerfully discussing their morning in Children's Ministry, recalling all the fun they just had. How my heart was warmed listening to their giggles, and Faith's so "adult like recaps."

We were in a bit of a hurry, as I had to get Faith to preschool by (12:30). I haven't shared this yet, but about 2 weeks ago, after the Lord's prompting, my restless heart, and again His abundant and timely financial provision...the door was opened and Faith, with so much excitement, began preschool at a nearby church. She loves it and so do we. It was a perfect fit for a perfect season.

I digress.

My mind settled on the morning and the beauty of women gathering together to study God's Word desiring to grow closer to their Savior. Of the wisdom that was shared as we looked at God's order in the home. And as my mind bounced from one thought to the next, it was quickly interrupted as I heard these words coming from the back seat...

"The Lord will fight for you." Exodus 14:14

"Is that right, mom?"

Am I saying this right?

And as I quickly peered around the seat, there was Jeddy holding up this bookmark from Children's Ministry. In his "just learning to read curiosity" and adorable little voice, with determination at getting the words right and pure pleasure in accomplishment....He needed some validation that he was in fact reading the words correctly.

What he didn't know was in that moment, God was using my little boy to speak directly to my heart.

That those words, were words that have flooded my mind for the last 6 months, turning over what it means in my "fight against breast cancer."

Trying to fully understand God at His word and wrap my mind around this battle that I'm in knowing that I really and truly can't "fight" it. This cancer. It's too big and I'm too little.

At least not fight the way I'm told to by the world.

This battle is not mine. I've said it before.

This cancer has too many tentacles and unknowns. It was my deepest fear for 38 years. CANCER. The 6 letter no one ever wants put together in a sentence where your name is involved.

The disease that as doctors say, "isn't considered curable for 5 years from diagnosis, because it is a disease that can strike later with a vengeance."

And all around are the words, "Fight breast cancer." My goodness, there are even pink boxing gloves made for women fighting this disease. As much as I love pink (and I do, it is my favorite color)....I don't want boxing gloves, nor do I know what to do with them and the 6 letter word.

And so as Jeddy's sweet voice came from the backseat, asking the most childlike question....

"Mom is this right? The Lord will fight for you?" holding up his bookmark....God was answering the question that I have held at the forefront of my prayers.

I grabbed for my Bible on the passenger seat next to me and asked Jeddy to tell me again where that was. I needed to read the context. I needed in that moment to see the words on the pages of the one book that is alive and sharper than any two edged sword because right then and there is was cutting through my joint and marrow, my soul and spirit, just as Hebrews tells us the Bible does. (Hebrews 4:12)

So with my legs steadying the steering wheel and one eye on the road and the other on my Bible, I went to Exodus 14:14 (note to others....do not recommend doing this while driving, but I was not to be contained in that moment.)

And here's the story of Moses leading the Israelites through the Red Sea. I've read the story a thousand times. My eyes have gazed over these verses and these words. But today they held a deeper meaning. Today they came alive to this woman whose body is tired and chemo has just worn out the physical me. To a woman that really doesn't want to fight the way I have the better half of my life. In my strength, my way, pushing to get to the other side. I'm not engaging in this battle this way. I can't. It is too exhausting.

And as Moses has just lead the Israelites out of Egypt, a land of oppression, from a Pharaoh they were enslaved to, to a future that offered no hope in their human eyes.....before them lay the massive Red Sea. Under them the ground was probably shaking as the hooves from the horses and the wheels of the chariots came fiercely across the ground in the distance, quickly approaching. To say they were pressed on every side would be an understatement. Can you imagine the fear that was rising within them. A battle was ensuing, a battle for their lives, their future, their livelihood..

A battle that resounds within me.

But God knew as He could see into their hearts.

And guess what Moses told them to do......Stand Still! The Lord will fight for you!

"Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace." Exodus 14:13-14

And what did God do, He parted the Red Sea. He delivered them. He brought them to the other side. He fought the battle and He won..His way. Those Israelites, they were ready to go back to Egypt. The battle was too much. The journey too long. The end, not seen. And I imagine, they were tired.

But God says, this battle is mine. Watch me deliver you. Believe I will deliver you. All I ask is that you stand still. Stand firm. Not in human understanding, but in ME.

This same message is throughout God's Word. It is there when the Israelites came up against the Amorites crying out that they were 'greater and taller, the cities were great and fortified.'
They saw their enemy with their eyes and they were scared. And Moses tells them

"Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. The Lord your God, who goes before you,
He will fight for you."Deuteronomy 1:30

And then he gives the most beautiful picture of God as a Father carrying His son, never letting him down or letting him go.

That's what God's battlefield looks like.

That is what God does for each of us. He fights the battle. He takes down the enemy and He is victorious and in the process He desires to show Himself strong & faithful for us...for you and for me.

The battle, the fight needs to be put into the proper perspective.

It isn't about us winning. It is about the glory of God being seen. His character. His faithfulness. His salvation. His deliverance. His love. His grace. His mercy. His magnificence.

And when we put down the weapons of this world and pick up faith in Christ Jesus, there is victory.

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God...." 2 Corinthians 10:4,5

And I look at David...as he was going to fight Goliath, Saul tried to adorn him with armor....worldly armor...a coat of mail, a heavy helmet, a sword....and as David tried to walk, he couldn't. It was heavy, cumbersome and ill fitting. David, taking off that armor, told Saul that it hadn't been tested. It hadn't been tried.

David was a boy that sought after the Lord. He knew that the battle was the Lord's. He knew a God that didn't disappoint and that came through strong. God had more to show than a boy defeating a giant. God was to show His strength in the weakness of that boy.

David drew 5 small, smooth stones and placed them in his pouch. And He stood before Goliath. He didn't charge at him. He stood and used the weapons that God had given him....God's almighty power and strength.

We know how the story ends. Goliath went down.

But we see in the end, David's heart on the matter. David's heart toward God.

"That all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all the assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands." 1 Samuel 17:46,47

That the glory of God may be seen. That all the earth would know there is a God and He delivers.

And God goes on in Ephesians to give us the armor that we need as the battles ensue around us. As war is waged against us and we pass through the valley of the shadow of death.

These are spiritual weapons, because whereas our battles might appear to be physical, they are spiritual. As Satan wants to take us down and in the process take God down.

But God has won. And He tells us to grab hold of the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the sword of the Spirit, the belt of truth, shield of faith and the shoes of the Gospel of peace. Pray in the Spirit, be watchful with perseverance....and STAND in the Lord and the power of His might.

How hard, right? Just to stand still and let God fight for us. We are a world of doing. Of bringing about action and results. But God says to stand still and let the power of the Lord rest upon us. To see what He is going to do. That doesn't mean that you do nothing. It means that you humbly follow hard after Him and let Him direct your steps. Seek His wisdom and understanding, as David did as he drew those stones from the brook.

The battle is the Lord's and we are to Stand firmly in Him. Who we know Him to be and He will show His power through us, strengthening us and fighting the battles for us.

And the victory....the victory is that in this battle I have the peace of God that passes understanding, I have joy, I have love, I have strength and I have power....all of which are God's and are in me as I am in Christ Jesus.

He is my hope. Not the chemo, not the surgery, not the radiation, the doctors, the supplements, the nutrition, the drugs.....my hope is in Christ alone. As I sought Him, He showed me these treatments are part of His plan for me, but ultimately, He will do the healing. All I can do is take care of this body as a servant of the Lord. Care for this temple. He will bring me, as He did with the Israelites, to the other side. I pray for healing, but either way I know that I am alive, whether here on this earth or in the presence of the Lord for all eternity.

Back to those words spoken from the mouth of my 6 year old boy.....

"The Lord will fight for you."

"Mom, is this right?"

You bet, my sweet boy....He will!!

Much love in Christ,
Stacy

P.S. Tomorrow morning, (Wednesday), I go in for chemo treatment number 6. Please pray that my blood counts are good and that my body receives the chemo. Please pray that God continues to fight this battle for me as only He can! Please pray for healing. How I cherish each one of your prayers and am humbled beyond measure that you would love me enough to carry me to God's throne. Please know that as you have shared your requests with me, I keep you as well before the Lord. The road is long, but it is sweetly marked with your friendship and love.
Thank you!

16 comments:

Lynn said...

Out of the mouth of babes! Keep standing firm, Stacy...the battle is the Lord's!
Meet you at the Throne of Grace,
Love,
Lynn

LisaShaw said...

This is powerful and priceless my friend and all the more that GOD used your son to speak HIS word of encouragement to your heart.

Indeed, the LORD is fighting for you and as a result you have the VICTORY!

I'm praying for you as you go for the 6th chemo tomorrow. Remember, the LORD is with you. He is your rear guard and HE IS FIGHTING FOR YOU. You win!!!! Hallelujah!!!

Love you.

A multi-dimensional life said...

Thank you for this powerful post!
I love that He spoke through your own son like that!

Oh, how thankful I am that I am able to read your words of truth!
Thanks for "home schooling" me in our own special house group! :)
You are precious!

Of course, I'll be praying for tomorrow...and beyond!
Love and Blessings always!

Jenny said...

I have to tell you...I SO needed to read this tonight. Your words spoke directly to my heart. We are facing some really difficult circumstances relating to future placement of our foster daughter. Circumstances that are out of my control. Circumstances that I don't understand. It's so hard to just be still and trust the Lord to work. Thank you so much for this simple reminder. The Lord will fight for me!---exactly what I needed to hear tonight!!! THANK YOU!

I will be praying for you tomorrow! HUGS to you!!

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

Stacy, God's messages are always right on time. Tonight he is using you to touch the lives of many. I am going to share this message with the entire cast of Moses. I know it will bless them richly and deeply!

Yes, precious friend the LORD YOUR GOD will win the battle and fight for you! He will protect you! He will quiet you with His love and rejoice over you with singing!

We lift you before the throne of grace daily and the children have started a prayer journal with you in it. They ask me several times a week for an update. Tomorrow I will be sure to tell them you are almost done with chemo.

I love you and praise God for the story His writing in your heart and life!

Hugs,
Jill

Debbie said...

Oh Stacy what a wonderful post. I love that the Lord used your young son to speak directly to you. And like you I have read that portion of scripture a hundred times or more it seems and yet somehow missed that jewel or thought...but I won't again. I am going to read the whole thing AGAIN when I get off here tonight. I will keep praying for you everytime the Lord brings you to my mind. You are almost finished, praise God!! And praise God that the battle is His, and He will win. HUGS to you, Debbie

Kari said...

I am praying for you Stacy. I am praying that tomorrow goes well for you.

I am praying for both of us...that we can learn to just "be still" and let God do His work.

You amaze me. You teach me something every single time I visit your blog.

My goodness - now I have to be intentional and still! LOL.

Hugs,

Kari

Debbie said...

I echo many of these ladies' comments; out of the mouths of babes. How like God to use a child to speak His Words just when you needed to hear them. I love it when He does that.

Stacy, I will praying for you as yo go through your treatment tomorrow. And remember the battle is the Lord's. Rest in Him.

Blessings and love,
Debbie

Melissa said...

My prayers are with you. I am so tankful that I felt the pull to check your bolg tonight.i needed to read this!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Such a powerful witness to the fighting spirit of our God; the same spirit he's placed in each one of us.

Even our standing still requires a movement of faith. We must be willing to see our Lord's "going ahead of us" and the proceed to follow. Even after the Israelites saw the parting of the Red Sea, God told them to move on. David ran toward Goliath, never hesitating to implement those tools given to him in that moment. I talked about this a lot during my last chemo round in the piece about "climbing to my overlook", based on 2 Chronicles 20.

God has, indeed, gone forth to secure the victory even before we take a step in humble submission. But take them we must if we are to fully embrace and see that which he has done for us. That is part of what you'll be doing today; part of what I did yesterday.

We receive our healing, one faith-filled step at a time. And girl, when we get to the other side of this, we'll hold the beauty of our hindsight.

And it will be spectacular; and we will be better for the climb.

Love you precious heart; like Gideon, you are a mighty warrior of faith. Go forth in the strength that you have.

peace~elaine

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Stacy:

Just checking in with you today. This is day 3 and I'm completely whipped. And frustrated. I have a full house over here, 2 young ones, 2 olders coming in from college, and my mom. What I had hoped would be a quiet weekend of rest is now turning into carnival central, and I just want to crawl in a hole. Can I get an AMEN?

Hope all is going as well as can be expected on your end. No need to reply. I just needed to reach out to someone who understands.

peace~elaine

lisasmith said...

Sure hope you're feeling okay and I pray you are feeling great!
This promise has been forever before me in the cancer battle!!

Love you,
lisa

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

I am late reading this...so, sorry...some battles in our home this week, so your words were in due season for me also.
I nodded and vocally said "yes" with each word.
I put my little one in a two day pre-school this year, after 21 years of continuous home schooling...it has been a blessing for him and I both...a new thing God is doing.

I pray that you are now recovering, that all went well. I pray...like the saying on your pillow, that God will lift you up and carry you when you need Him to...as He fights the battle!

Blessings and prayers daily on your behalf. The battle belongs to the Lord...the victory is won!

Just Be Real said...

Stacy what a wonderful and delightful blog you have here. Love the pictures of the little ones on your side bar. Thank you for sharing this post. Blessings.

srd41257 said...

Dear Stacy,

My dear cousin, Colleen, told me about you and this blog site. I am so happy to now be a part of a gathering that is centered on our love for the Lord Jesus.

I would like to give testimony to the greatness of God and his Divine Mercy.

In March of 2009, I was told by my urologist to "sit down, I have something important to tell you and I am not going to sugar coat it". Before he said a word, I knew the results of mt prostate biopsy.
What I didn't know was that I had a "very aggressive and advanced case"and "it almost certainly has spread to every part of your body".

Hormone and radiation therapy started immediately, and I prayed like I never had before. With a 16 year old boy and a 13 year old girl, this just could not be happening to me.

My focus during this time was the words of Jesus, especially in John chapter 14. I took every word literally. He said "Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid"...John14:27 and "if You ask anything in my name, I will do it"... John14:14

How could anything go wrong if Jesus said those words, and I truly believed every single word literally.

After 44 radiation treatments and high doses of hormone therapy, I am here to tell you that Jesus delivered my health to me. The same doctor that was getting me ready to leave this world was proud to tell me that my PSA reading was "nil...and things are looking good for you".

All honor and glory go to our Lord Jesus, I never had a doubt that he would heal me through the doctors that work for him. I was never afraid because he told me not to be afraid.

Everything that Jesus said in the Holy Bible is the absolute truth...every single word. Pay particular attention to how much he wants us to ask Our Advocate, The Holy Spirit to help us. John 14:15-31.

God Bless you, Stacy. I am praying for you that Jesus will grant you Divine Mercy.

Stephen

Teri Lynne Underwood said...

Praying today ... as I re-read your comment, graciously left last week, on my own blog ... and knowing that HE will fight the battle and we can trust HIM. Praying for you and your family in all things.