I have to admit that when Piper and I embarked upon this commitment of faith for her good health back in late 2007, I NEVER expected it to be as hard and long an ordeal as it has grown into today! Talk about a roller coaster ride! This adventure in faith has taken more twists, turns and wild downward spirals than that first old wooden rollercoaster that I rode as a kid that scared the bejeebers out of me and kept me off rollercoasters until I was well into my mid-twenties!
On the upward side though, this rollercoaster ride has taken many more positive turns than negative! And even though doom and gloom was predicted for us as we began to take steps of faith, we’ve learned to stay the path, to look beyond those in disagreement with our steps and keep our eyes on the prize of what we continue to believe that Papa God and His Word has promised to Piper and I.
But let me be perfectly honest here… It ain’t easy! There are times (like today…) when I suddenly gave into the pressure building up inside and tossed the syringe I was using to help Piper partake of her breakfast across the room! And let me tell you… right afterwards I felt like a complete fool, as the dog jumped up and looked at me like I was crazy… and I was left with chocolate over-spray across the floor and nearby wall! A real man of faith… right?
Well, thank God that I have also come to experience Him over these last ten plus years to be full of mercy and grace. We have a little wooden plaque that one of Piper’s pre-school students gave to her back when she was a teacher at the First Presbyterian Pre-School when we were first married, that hangs in a prominent place in the living room and continually reminds us that “Faith makes things possible… not easy!”
Later today, after the helping-my-wife-eat-breakfast episode, I was reviewing my Bible Study notes from yesterday and was reminded that I had been studying a portion of scripture in Proverbs 3:3-4. Through the King James Version, the writer encourages us to, “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”
This is a promise that I have depended on throughout this whole ordeal that we find ourselves in the midst of. It seems like there are always new doctors (which I just found out that our Hospice team is seeking, even as I sit at my laptop right now!), new procedures, insurance questions and changes, new caregivers and on and on… but through it all, we have continued to remind the Lord of His promise of favor and at almost every turn the doors have been opened wide!
As I looked up some of the original Hebrew meanings to many of the major words in these verses, I took special note that the word translated “truth” in most Bible versions actually means “Stability, firmness, sureness and continuance.” (Strong’s and Brown-Driver-Briggs) In the Greek it symbolizes a “conviction of truth – which in the New Testament is defined as a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things.” (Thayer’s)
Those definitions got me to thinking! I realized that the writer was not just referring to God’s Word as being the truth, but was also pointing to our need to stay firm, sure and convicted to that truth while it works its way in whatever stand of faith we purposely find ourselves pursuing!
So… as I stood splashing cold water on my face at the bathroom sink after trying to help Piper eat more of her breakfast without much success, it was of utmost importance that I NOT give in to all the discouragement that was raging within my head and NOT say anything EXCEPT what the Word of God says about what Piper and I are standing for! And once again… Let me say… It ain’t easy… but at times like this, all I can AFFORD to do is to set aside what I might be thinking, or feeling, or desperately wanting, and focus in on Papa God and His promises to me and Piper!
After all, my fresh look at Hebrews 11:1 this morning pointed out the fact that “Faith is the substance of things hoped (or expected) for…” To which Thayer’s Greek Definitions declared the meaning of “substance” to be “that which has actual existence!”
Do you get it? This verse is telling us that the thing that Piper and I are believing for… her healing which is promised to us in the Word… actually exists! It is out there… RIGHT NOW… in heavenly places and is just getting ready to be manifested in the natural realm! So, even though we can’t see it right now… IT DOES EXIST through our faith! Whoa!
What do you think about that? With that kind of promise I have everything I need to put aside the desires to give in and give up and stand true and strong with our commitment to Papa God and His Word! It may not always be easy… but it is well worth the effort!
What would you do?
Have a great rest of the week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “What stand of faith is actually existing for me right now!?”