“Now my soul is troubled…”

I just read something that is really really interesting. I was laying in bed a few hours ago trying to fall asleep and since it’s Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter) I was trying to think about what might have been happening right now all those years ago. And as I lay there, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I came downstairs to read John and I stumbled across John 12:27-28 in which Jesus himself says, “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name.” Am I crazy or does that sound like Jesus was a little nervous? And rightly so as He knew what was about to happen. But how many times have I read that and not given it a second thought? This was right after the people would have greeted Him as king on what we now celebrate as Palm Sunday and before His final teachings. I keep reading over that again and again. I can just really identify with that sentiment! It’s scary to live out God’s will because it’s so different from what we would plan for ourselves but greater things get accomplished. (I will take a second to reiterate here that no, I do not believe God gave me cancer, but I believe He wants to use it). So here I am, up again while everyone else sleeps.

image
I've even got my little buddies curled up with me ❤

At least this time I’m not up because I’m coughing (thank goodness I’m feeling so much better!) but I’m awake because I can’t stop thinking. Easter is by far my favorite holiday. Obviously, this is the day that commemorates what Jesus did for us. But on a personal note, it marks the anniversary of when I accepted Jesus into my own life-  seven years ago! For this reason, I’ve come to take Easter to heart more than I probably would if my “salvation-versary” fell on another day. But come on, that’s pretty symbolic, right? I love it.

And while Easter is always special, for whatever reason, this year all of Holy Week has hit me really hard. I don’t think I quite realized how much closer I’ve drawn to the Lord through my experiences the past few months until now. The magnitude of what Jesus did and how everything played out is weighing heavily on me. Let’s just look at last Sunday, Palm Sunday. It never quite hit me before how sad it is. I always looked at it like a celebration, because Palm Sunday, for those who may not know, commemorates the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and all the people welcomed Him as a king and shouted things like “Hosanna!” and “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” and they celebrated and waved palm branches. For whatever reason, it never occurred to me until this year that these same people welcoming Jesus as their king would be very same people shouting “crucify him!” just days later. Can you even imagine? I mean, I’ve heard of “mob mentality”, but this seems excessive. These are the very same people who handed Jesus over to torture. He was beaten, mocked, spit on, slapped, flogged, and ultimately accused of the most grievous sin, blasphemy. The weight of all this is just so heavy on my heart this year. I love celebrating Easter and the new life that comes with it, but we can only celebrate it because of what was done for us leading up it. I find myself getting very angry at these people. But who knows how we would have acted had we been there. Jesus was certainly not what the Jews were expecting in awaiting the messiah, so can we really blame them for this reaction? Even Jesus defends them and asks God to forgive them because they didn’t know what they were doing.

Jesus knew that the people were blind and literally didn’t know what they were doing. That’s exactly how I feel when I look back at my life before Christ. I had no clue what I was doing and I had no clue how blind I was. But in that moment, at that altar on that Easter morning, I decided to give up and let go. Give up on my fruitless pursuits and let go of the sin and shame that had been weighing me down. My burden before was so heavy, but it wasn’t until I dropped all that baggage at the cross that I realized how much freedom comes with surrender. Freedom from sin, freedom from the weight of this world, freedom from feeling like I had to have it all together or figure it all out. And this cancer has ignited in me a new fire and a renewed commitment to the Lord and to doing His work. It’s pretty indescribable to feel like I’m living with a purpose.

One of my favorite pastimes is reading cancer blogs (quite a hobby, huh?) and I’m amazed at how many people lament the fact that they don’t have the “inner strength” that other people battling cancer seem to have. Seriously, you’d be surprised how often I see this and it breaks my heart that these people feel so much pressure to try to figure this out on their own. That they have to work so hard to try to find strength and peace when there is a God who loves them and will give it to them freely, if only they ask. This goes well beyond cancer and into anything we may be facing. You don’t need to be strong, just come humbly before God, broken and all, and let Him heal you. We honor Easter every year to celebrate that we don’t have to do this on our own. We don’t need to be strong and pretend to have it all together! What freedom there is in resting in Christ. He already did the work for us, we just need to accept it. We can’t make people choose Jesus, but we can continue to shout the good news from the rooftops and hope people listen.

So I refuse to shut up about it! So much so that I’ll actually be giving the message at my church here the first weekend in May. At first I didn’t really want to “advertise” it because 1. I don’t want to look arrogant or anything and 2. There’s a chance I’ll do a horrible job haha. But these speaking opportunities keep popping up, so I’ll keep saying yes! John 7:18 says, “Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves” And when I read that tonight it reminded me that I am not speaking to glorify myself, so I don’t need to be embarrassed about it. So Sunday May 4th at 9am and 10:45am I’ll be speaking at my church in a message I’ve titled “Can I Find Joy in Cancer?” Wish me luck!

And there’s more good news! Not quite as good as salvation through Christ, but I sure like it! Those spots that I had biopsied came back pretty good. The one on my face is completely benign (!!!!) and the one on my lower back came back a dysplastic Nevus, so while that sounds horrible and I still have to get it dug out, it ain’t melanoma! Thanks all you prayer warriors, you guys are good 😉

image

Advertisements

13 thoughts on ““Now my soul is troubled…”

  1. I have been thinking of the service from a few weeks ago at NH Naz when we sang “Your Great Name”. It was so fitting for that service and everyone in attendance. This Easter especially has brought it all back thanks to a very inquisitive little girl that I can tell is eager to hear. So refreshing. Thanks for the insights dear and so glad to hear you are feeling better and your results (can we shout “hallelujah!”). Now go sleep, as I should do the same =)

  2. Well, Kim, it is plain to see that you have a very special calling and gifting on your life. You are recognizing what many people miss. That is, for good or bad, in this world you will have trouble (not might). Only, when serious health issues shake us to the core, most of us want out of it fast. I personally went through cervical cancer and the loss of our third child at age 32 followed by more surgery and a hysterectomy. I remember the kindness of people all along the way as I was bedfast for 6 weeks – many Christians who did not judge or try to tell me how I should be feeling or “get over it”. Actually that came later as I struggled mightily in my 50s decade to get through menopause with all it’s hormone imbalances, depression, digestive issues, arthritic changes, and on and on. Now in my 60s I struggle to be genuinely joyful every day despite chronic pain and the “fear” that the arthritis will get the best of me even though I have drastically changed what I eat and how I move. Lots of PT, mindfulness every day of how to move, etc. It really is a daily thing, a discipline. I am sure that those early crises (I did not mention the other surgeries or how I was unable to work most of 2005). set me on a path of inner healing because I had good wise council and I decided to allow the Lord to deal with me. I am totally leaning on Him for strength. When I do, and do not have a pity party, I am amazed at how productive He allows me to be in ministry!

    When you speak to people, blog, go to your treatments, accept help at home and the thousand other ways your testimony is on display, you are a shining star in the universe. (see Phil 2:12-18) Even the angels long to look into these things. (I Pet 1:12)

    It is very true that we, generally speaking, as an American Christian culture, feel entitled to receive immediate answers to prayer that preclude suffering of any kind. As we look into the scriptures and really take note of our role, we see that suffering has it’s purpose and plan. No escaping it. Embrace it and continue to ask for the Lord’s best. He is continually working out a plan that is a mystery to us but will be revealed in Heaven – our REAL HOME. Go see the movie. Read the book. Little Colton Burpo has an upper hand on us. Got to see Jesus face to face and longs to return. But now he is much older and living out his days like the rest of us. Who can know the mind of Christ? No mind has conceived…(I Co 2:9)

    At this season of Passover and Easter, I long to know Him better. I take time to fast and pray and search His heart. I am blessed to see you doing the same Kind of searching because your life is enriched beyond your years. I was awake last night too because of pain. So up at 2PM to read and pray. Awesome time. Peaceful day (can’t figure out why I am especially painful these couple of days) but moving on anyway.

    “Take Heart. I have overcome the world “. Thank you Jesus. Blessings to your family this resurrection Sunday and beyond.

    1. Wow I truly had no idea everything you’ve had to deal with. I often feel lucky because, while my list of issues keeps getting longer, chronic unbearable pain has not been an issue. I’m thankful for that as I can’t really imagine how I would be in those circumstances. I will pray for you!! Thank you for always taking the time to encourage me and you always end up teaching me something or opening my eyes to something. You gave me a lot to think about! But that’s a good thing 🙂 wishing you a happy Easter as well!

  3. Praise God!!! Wooooo!!! I feel like shouting. Kim, this blog blesses my heart so much to see how God is working in your life in so many ways. He is shaping you into such a beautiful vessel and your sweet spirit through it all is such a testimony. Keep the Faith Girlfriend!!! We serve an awesome God.

  4. You are such a blessing to those around you. I can’t tell you how much I love reading your blog (the good along with the bad). You bring such spiritual insight to all who read this. May you always find strength in the Almighty.

  5. Cats have always been part of our family since I was married. My Husband didn’t think a home was a home with out them. They are nurses. They know that things are not right & you need them. Prayers each day for you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s