WHETHER HE CHOOSES TO DELIVER YOU FROM, THROUGH OR BY THE FIRE HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU
BY NICOLE HENNEFORTH
About five months ago my mom called me to tell me she has some spots on her lung and the doctor thinks she has cancer. I don’t know if anyone can ever quite prepare you for that phone call. The feeling of being punched in the gut and heart all at the same time is not one I am looking forward to again any time soon. The rush of emotions ranging from shock and fear all the way to belief in the Lord and his ability to heal came in like the tide; each wave different and powerfully overwhelming. This was the beginning of a season of waiting for my family. One that has required us to reach deep into the caverns of our faith and declare that no matter what, our God is faithful.
We went through months of different tests, a string of doctors saying different things and talk of possible treatments that included chemo and surgery. They even had an option for chemo that would have let my mom keep her hair. This brought some levity to the whole situation because if you know my mom, you know that her hair is very important to her. It was an overwhelming season that required a lot of waiting. The waiting was the hardest part. However, the unknown drove us to our knees and caused us to call upon the name that is above every other name, the powerful name of Jesus.
Throughout this time I watched my mom cling to Jesus and watched Jesus overshadow her with His peace. I watched as he called her to journey with him into a place of deeper trust and dependence on him. I watched as my mom declared to every doctor and nurse that her God is mighty and that He is going to heal her body. I watched as the Lord began to shock doctors with His ability to heal. Test after test the doctors stood baffled, wondering why what they saw on the PET scan was not translating to the biopsies and blood work. It turns out the Lord exposed the tumors in my mom’s lung before they had metastasized into the rest of her body. They are stage one cancer tumors and would require surgery to remove them. She still has some spots on her lung that they will know more about after surgery, but we believe the Lord will fully heal my mom’s body. He who began a good work within my mom will be faithful to complete it.
My mom is scheduled for surgery September 2, 2016. The goal is to remove the two tumors from her lung and to assess the other spots that are present. During her six to eight week recovery my family and I will join my parents to help them with the camp and my mom as she recovers. The Lord even worked out a preschool for Lincoln and Andrew’s job in Simi Valley was pushed back from July to exactly the week I need to be at my parent’s house. Just as Pastor Dan spoke about a few weeks ago, there are seasons that you just can’t miss and this is one of those seasons for us. We are grateful the Lord worked out this season so well. He cares about the details in our lives, He cares about our families, and He enables us to be present for the moments we just can’t miss.
Even within this hopeful news for my mom I can’t help but wrestle with the reality that there are those within our church who are still waiting to be healed and those who have gone on to be with the Lord. I kept asking, “Lord, why don’t you always heal in the way we want you to?” During my processing with the Lord He reminded me of a message from Beth Moore on the book of Daniel. Beth was speaking on Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were thrown into the fiery furnace because they refused to bow their knee to any other God but Yahweh and how the Lord miraculously delivered them. She concluded that the Lord would always deliver one of three ways:
- He will deliver FROM the fire, and our faith will be built.
- He will deliver THROUGH the fire, and our faith will be refined.
- He will deliver BY the fire into his loving arms, and our faith is perfected.
Our God is faithful even when He does not heal in the way or the timing we wish He would. I want to encourage you today that God is our great deliverer! Whether He chooses to deliver you from, through or by the fire He will never leave you nor forsake you. That even if He chooses to deliver “by” the fire we have no need to fear. 1 Corinthians 15:54b-55 says, “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” Jesus is our great victor and on the cross he conquered sin and death. I believe that Jesus desires to lift our eyes and expand our perspectives that we would live with eternity as our reality. Philippians 3:20-21 says, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” God is in the process of transforming us to be like him. I pray that through whatever trial you are facing you would allow the Lord to build up your faith and cause your roots of trust to go deep into Him.
Throughout this season the Lord has not only built up my mom’s faith but He has built up the faith of every person in our family. He has caused us to cling to Him as our rock. We can trust in Him because He is the unchanging, firm foundation upon which we can build our lives. Please continue to pray for our family in this season as we head up to support my mom and dad. We count it a blessing that God would free us up to bless them in this way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
After graduating from Life Pacific College with her BA in Biblical Studies and Early Childhood Education, Nicole came on staff at The Father’s House as the Children’s Pastor. Nicole and her husband Andrew are currently assisting pastors at TFH and have been serving the church for the past seven years. Andrew and Nicole have been married for 5 years and have three children, Madeline (9), Lincoln (4), and Isla (1).