“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18 (The Message)
Last time we were together I spoke about the Israelites and how I was committed to be less like them, grumbling, complaining and seeking reassurance, and instead living a life that showed I trusted God and was choosing to praise and worship Him despite how my external circumstances look.
God has been teaching me these lessons for the past three years. And while this year I made the commitment to worship/praise more, trust more, worry less and ask for less confirmation, I want to share today how that looks in my day-to-day life. I don’t know about you, but every time I make a commitment to God about growing in an area that will please Him, the enemy sits up and takes notice. He’s happy (and quieter) when I’m failing … but when I chose to live out the lessons God invites me into, well, he steps up his game.
Earlier this year I had to have a routine outpatient procedure. It was actually scheduled twice in 2017, but both times I had to cancel and reschedule. In reality, I’d been planning this procedure since July of 2017. I prayed about it for months ahead of time, felt God’s peace and was truly expecting to hear “no concerns, come back in ten years.”
When I was coming out of the sedation, instead I heard, “we had to remove something and sent the biopsies in for testing.” I had a choice at that moment. I could worry, I could beg God for confirmation that I was okay … or I could praise and worship Him. Not because of the biopsy but because He’s God, plain and simple. Praise Him in all circumstances as He instructs us to in the above verse.
I chose to look at my situation thanking God. I thanked Him for the two times I had to reschedule because what they found was “tiny” and therefore, might not have been visible seven months prior. Then I went a step further and thanked Him for them finding something. Yes, I did. I thanked God that the doctor found an issue because now regular and more frequent checks are on my radar due to family history and personal history. Instead of waiting ten years, I will be checking in three years and then every year after that with a simple test to stay healthy and catch possible further problems at the early stage.
I would like to say it was that simple. That my first response was to praise and worship God. No, unfortunately it wasn’t. My first response was to “discuss it” (a.k.a. ask for reassurance) from my husband that I was okay, then to praise and worship God. However, despite still needing training in this area, I have to admit that once I started praising and worshipping God, I was able to find His peace quickly, days before the results came back from the doctor.
Three days later the doctor’s office called and while I was prepared to hear “precancerous,” I heard nonmalignant. I was prepared to choose to praise God even with the words “precancerous.”
Come back next time to hear about how the enemy decided to turn up the heat with another event the same day I heard the results from the doctor.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018