2 Timothy 1: NKJV

6Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

There was persecution in the church when Paul wrote this. It appears that he is writing to Timothy to strengthen his faith. Fear can be a crippling emotion. When you are in the middle of it, you need reminding—to pray, to read your Bible. It doesn’t always come naturally. We have a GOD who is mighty, who has given us the tools, to fight any battle. My dad is in a nursing home right now, fighting pneumonia. Whether it is the medications, the illness, or some other factor, he is experiencing crazy frightening dreams and hallucinations. Even though he is strong in his faith, he is overwhelmed with these thoughts.

My own battle with cancer would have me waking up, frozen with fear. What would I find out today? Would I need surgery?

Sometimes we are too engrossed in our situation to pray for ourselves. The words will hardly come. These are times for our friends and loved ones to bring our needs to our loving Father. Our family has friends all over the country because we have moved several times. It gave me hope (and strength), when I was down, to call friends and ask for prayer. It was awesome, thinking there were people in all sorts of places offering up prayers for me!

Other times, we need to take whatever steps we can to pursue God. Begin reading your Bible, increase your time alone with God. It helped me to write in a journal, everything I was worried about—and give it to God to handle. That was an awesome exercise! I could see how He answered each issue over time.

Joshua 1:9 NKJV

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Isaiah 43: 1-3 TLB

But now the Lord who created you, O Israel, says, “Don’t be afraid, for I have ransomed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up—the flames will not consume you, for I am the Lord your God, your Savior, the Holy One of Israel.

Lord, you are so faithful; to remind us you are always near. Strengthen us, help us. Turmoil is all around us. You are the Almighty God who created heaven and earth—and yet we forget, and rely on our own strength. Our hearts are overwhelmed with your love, your unshakeable and unchangeable, love. Let anyone who reads this be drawn closer to you Lord.

Does it really matter?

I found out this week a friend has been told she has liver cancer and may only have 2 years to live.

As I thought about what to say to my friend, my own conversation with the oncologist came to mind. I had asked him, “so what are my chances?”, half-joking, because I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear the answer.

He looked me straight in my eyes and said, “does it really matter”?

I thought about his response on the way home that day. As much as we want to know ‘how long we have’, the truth is, none of us knows.

And–surprise–you have NEVER known! Cancer clarifies how you live, but it really shouldn’t. We should live each day to the best of our ability, with whatever we have been given–good or bad. It’s all we have.

The apostle Paul says in Philippians chapter 4: (NIV version)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I love that he directs us to praise, positive thinking, excellent thoughts! Talk about a prescription to fight depression!
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or
heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
and in verse 11:
for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Lord, for whoever is reading this, bless them with your everlasting presence. Give them your peace, not the peace that is here for a minute and then gone, but the peace that cannot be understood by logic. Amen