I Can Do It!

To Love.To Serve.To Lift

Slow Down.Shape Up.Persevere

8 March 2007

I think, talk, work and walk fast. I suspect many times, I’m ahead of God. God is telling me to slow down. He told me to shape up so I may have the stamina to persevere.

Slow Down

A few people reminded me of my current priority: stay as healthy as possible and finish my whole course of chemotherapy (I will finish sometime during the first half of 2008). How has it been? GOOD!!! And I’m extremely thankful. Yesterday I just went for my 5th session. I have 7 more sessions to go. I thought it would be dreary but because it is once a week, every week comes and goes really quickly. The finger pricks are very tolerable and on the last week of March, no blood test is required! Hey doc, is it a concession? Whatever it is, I’m very grateful.

Weekly trips to the hospital have eaten into the time I spend at home with the children. Thus, weekends have become very precious. It is wonderful to be on my own without the children. However, hubby rightly pointed out that while I am stress free, the babysitter would have to give up his/her time to be with the children. Perhaps it’s still best to catch up with friends during my hospital trips. I have to slow down. I have to say ‘no’ to some appointments that would stretch my family and me too much. The burden on the caregiver(s) may be more apparent when I begin daily radiotherapy later on. I pray for understanding and also regular and timely breaks for the caregivers.

Shape Up

As the weeks go by, I sense the Lord is telling me to rely on Him more than anyone else. A few times, hubby was unable to be around when I came home from chemotherapy. Friends have been very kind and helpful. I could feel the deep love and concern each one has for us. However, they have their own families and responsibilities too. I must remember that ONLY God can meet ALL my needs. Just like David, whose men wanted to stone him when their wives and children were captured, I need to find my strength in the Lord. (1 Samuel 30:6)

A. W. Tozer1 says it very well:

“If God has singled you out to be a special object of His grace you may expect Him to honour you with stricter discipline and greater suffering than less favoured ones are called upon to endure.

If God sets you out to make you an unusual Christian He is not likely to be as gentle as He is usually pictured by the popular teachers. A sculptor does not use a manicure set to reduce the rude, unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer and the chisel are cruel tools, but without them the tough stone must remain forever formless and unbeautiful.

To do His supreme work of grace within you He will take from your heart everything you love most. Everything you trust in will go from you. Piles of ashes will lie where your most precious treasures used to be.

Thus you will learn what faith is; you will find out the hard way, but the only way open to you, that true faith lies in the will, that the joy unspeakable of which the apostle speaks is not itself faith but a slow-ripening fruit of faith. You will learn, too, that present spiritual joys may come and go as they will without altering your spiritual status or in any way affecting your position as a true child of the heavenly Father.

Then you will also learn, probably to your astonishment, that it is possible to live in all good conscience before God and men and still feel nothing of the ‘peace and joy’ you hear talked about so much by immature Christians!”

I read those profound words many times trying to digest them. They have affirmed my perspective about the present situation I’m in.

Persevere

There are a few areas I require perseverance:

*Homeschooling

I pray that God will show me how He wants me to teach my children to walk in His ways. I need wisdom to plan the time-table and research good learning materials. I ask for love as I discipline and impart knowledge and values. Finally, I pray for sensitivity and creativity as each child is unique in personality and in his/her gifts.

*Exercise

When I saw my doctor this week, he told me that the chemotherapy could cause changes in my bone density and so there is a chance of osteoporosis in the next 5-10 years. Hence I need to watch my calcium intake and also to exercise regularly. Although I love the outdoors, I don’t enjoy exercising. Perhaps I can be motivated when I join my friends who have been trying to keep fit.

*Keeping my Focus

Along with the news of the possibility of osteoporosis, the doctor also revealed that if my period doesn’t resume within 2 years after completion of my chemotherapy, it’s likely that menopause has set in. Instantly, I felt the dread descending on me. I felt like the folks in Hiroshima who are presently feeling the effects of the atomic bomb which was dropped on their land during World War II. I wanted to SCREAM. But I refused to waste my energy. The Lord must have known all these. If He is aware, He is in absolute control. He will know what’s best for me. My part is to focus on God and to persevere in running the race He has set before me.

Hebrews 12:1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Thank you for keeping me on the track.

Apple

Notes

1. A. W. Tozer, Renewed Day by Day: A Daily Devotional, compiled by G. B. Smith (Camp Hill, Pa.:Christian Publications, 1980). Devotional for February 20.

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