Jehovah Rapha

Once a month a group of ladies in our church gets together for what's called Christian Ladies Fellowship (CLF). It's always on a Tuesday night, there's always yummy food, and we always have great speakers. The speaker for the month of November was sweet J.M. (going to use initials to protect her privacy). One thing that's so special to me about J.M. is that she was our first contact with FBC Hughes Springs. She was a member of the pastor search committee, and she called Daniel in New Orleans, which began our dialogue with the church that we would soon call 'home.' We were then able to put a face with a name in early January when Daniel preached at FBC Hope, AR and the search committee came. From then until now, I don't think I've ever been around J when she hasn't smiled. She is truly one of the most joyful women I have ever met. I intentionally used the word 'joyful' instead of 'happy' because her joy does not come from herself...it is clearly from the Lord!

So back to the CLF meeting....J was asked to speak about Mary, the mother of Jesus. She shared a very challenging and heart-felt message about being women of faith and acting out that faith. She quoted the Word several times, but one verse that sticks out to me right now is Luke 1:38

And Mary said, 'Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.'

You see, J was not only speaking to the 12-15 women sitting in that room on a Tuesday night. The Lord was speaking to her and preparing her for the next step in her physical and spiritual journey. J had been having some physical ailments the weeks leading up to her message, but she and we had no clue what was going on in her body. As she spoke that night, cancer was developing in her breast and moving into her lymph nodes and spine. I hate even typing that ugly "C" word. It is evil, and it is not from our Lord! But, as we all know, it's a very real part of this world and we are all affected by it in some way or another.

As I've watched J go through test after test, biopsy after biopsy, wait days and days for results, drive back and forth to Longview (45 minutes away), I've often thought, "how would I respond in this situation?" Would I sit around crying and saying 'woe is me,' or would I respond as J has with a smile on my face telling everyone around, "I know it's going to be okay! God is not through with me, and I am going to be healed!" Even typing those words challenges me so much! J has told me on several occasions that her goal in all of this is to glorify our Father. I, in turn, have told her several times that He has been glorified in so many ways so far. She is truly living out her faith in a way that I haven't seen done in a very long time! Have you ever 'smelled' Christ on someone? Before you think that sounds crazy, it's Biblical! 2 Corinthians 2:15 says, "For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing..." I smell Christ all over J!

So why do I tell you all this? Well, part of this post was probably for my own benefit...you know, a little writing therapy. But, I also wanted to challenge all of my readers. How do you respond to curve balls that are thrown your way? Do you say, "bring it on!" or do you turn and run into a hole? May we all be men and women of faith who are actively seeking ways to bring our Father glory! And also, please remember J.M. in your prayers. She will be heading to M.D. Anderson in Houston soon. Pray that the Lord our Healer (Jehovah Rapha) will truly heal J from this awful disease. Pray that as she goes through surgery, chemo, and whatever else is ahead, she will continue to trust in His plan and purpose. Pray for her family as they walk this difficult road with her. I will keep y'all updated on her, and I can't wait for the day when I'll be able to report that she has been healed!!

I love you, J, and I am SO proud of you, my friend!

No comments:

Post a Comment