The land line phone rings often these days as Iowa gears up for the caucus. I don't answer, nor do I read the fear or hate filled posts on Facebook or other media sites. Already I see arguments spilling over and anger rising. The media loves drama. And so, it appears, do we. We know worst-case scenarios sell and garner votes. Mostly we are drawn in to the right or to the left because we agree with the words being spoken, or we are looking for answers to our many questions. We want a world that will make us feel safe, protected, prosperous, and even superior. Yeah. Nothing brings out our humanness more that politics or the fear of death. Words hold power.
Words have held me captive for a few months now. Doctor after doctor, pages and pages of medical reports, words spilling over giving me worst-case scenarios and and reports of percentages and what ifs or could-be's. Words giving cancer a whole heck of a lot of power. I got lost in all the alphabet letters spoken over me. The daily trips to the cancer center, radiation burning out the "possibility" of other cancer cells lurking. The radiation burning me. Even with the kind and caring people I connected with, I was deeply affected in body, soul, and spirit. I still cannot describe fully what happened to me inside, but in focusing and believing only what the medical world's best were telling me (which is their job) my soul began to shrivel up and my Spirit was silenced. I got caught up in the desperate need to survive. I lost my power, or I gave it away.
This morning I began researching the medications the oncologist wants me to "try". The side effects are major. The doctor even told me, she was not sure I could take them, as they will increase my pain and other symptoms. Thus the "trying" part. I was looking for what was being said by patients and doctors about the drugs, and trying to made an informed decision on what to do. Fear began to take up residence. More bad guys might be coming....... Even the medications can cause what we are trying to prevent. Really?
Fear makes it hard to clearly hear the truth and live in peace, whether it is fear of ISIS, fear of who is in the White House, or fear of cancer coming back. Us oldsters have seen many presidents come and go. We have lost friends in their 30's and watched others live long full lives after battling great adversities that should have killed them. There have always been bad guys whether they are named ISIS, a political party, or cancer. Even with so much more knowledge or weapons of warfare at our disposal, there are no definitive answers or results that bring us peace of mind.
So what does? What gives us peace?
For the past few days God has been opening my eyes and ears to the word. It has jumped out at me on Facebook, blogs, and in a teaching I listened to by Pastor Eric Johnson at Bethel Church in CA.
Eric made a few statements that caught my attention. "The greatest weapon I have against the enemy is peace". Hmmmm "One of the ways peace comes to us is when we praise the Lord in spite of the battle going on around us. When we can say, Praise the Lord, His mercies endure for ever, it helps us win the battle before it is even over." Victory. Winning the battle before it is even over.
We are often confronted with the need to choose......peace or fear. Maybe we can practice the sacrifice of praise in our lives concerning that which we battle because we know that we have the final victory! Easier said than done, my friends. It has taken me awhile, but as the wounds heal inside and out, my body becomes strong again, and as I refuse to partner with fear, I am slowly coming back to life and lifting my arms in gratitude and praise.
It's dark outside now, and what I see out the window is a reflection of the light inside my home. We are much the same. Even when circumstances darken our world, we can make a choice to reflect God's light in our praise and in our refusal to let fear of cancer, ISIS, or the latest bad guy quiet our Spirit. Let His light shine.......let peace come.