Friday, April 16, 2010

Difficult vs. Wonderful

I was once again reminded how great our God is this morning.

A girlfriend of mine, Shelly, shared a prayer request with me on Tuesday - her sister's grandchild was diagnosed with muscle cancer. A two month old. She asked for prayer that the doctors would have wisdom as they were scheduling a biopsy for later this week at U of M.

So I prayed for this little baby and the doctors, having no idea what God would do in this situation.

Shelly wrote me this morning and the doctors have cancelled the biopsy. They said that the baby does not have cancer, but a "vascular legion filled with blood" that they will monitor. But apparently it is not life threatening, and it's definitely not cancer! Praise the Lord!

I was a bit overwhelmed at God's hand and then the Lord brought scripture to my mind: "Is anything too difficult for the Lord?" This is what Jesus said to Abraham when He visited him (pre-incarnate Christ) to tell him that Sarah was going to have a baby within a year. Sarah laughed as she listened from within a tent and Jesus called her out. The translators use the word "difficult" in this passage, but they translate the same exact word as "wonderful" when they describe the coming Messiah in Isaiah 9:7: "And He shall be called Wonderful Counselor..." Should it really say, He shall be called Difficult Counselor? Well, I guess that would fit, for the counsel of God can be difficult at times, but its burden is so much less than its wonderfulness, so no, I think it was intended to be "wonderful counselor."

Then how about Jesus' question, "Is anything too difficult for the Lord?" We all know the answer to that question, but is it possible the translation is wrong? Should it read instead, "Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?" Personally I think either word can be used, but I gravitate to "wonderful." Giving Sarah a baby at 90 years old was a wonderful act. There was no difficulty for God in it at all, but all the wonderfulness is credited to Him.

So as I thought about this little baby and this wonderful news, what I really thought was, "Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?" The answer to that is no - He is wonderful in and of Himself, therefore He can do anything wonderful, if He chooses.

As you pray today for whatever concerns are laid on your heart, use these questions to calm your anxiousness.

Is there anything too difficult for the Lord?

Is there anything too wonderful for the Lord?

God is in control, therefore, His hands are not tied and the answers to your prayers are His answers. If He choses to remove the trial, then He is wonderful and it was not too difficult. But if the trial persists, then guess what? He's still wonderful and it's not too difficult for Him.

He is God.

He is Sovereign.

He reigns.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kristen

    I am Shelly's sister, Rhonda, and Baby Peyton's Grammy. I tried to send a comment this morning, but it appears not to have gone through. I will try again!
    Thank you, for your prayers on Peyton’s behalf. I’d like to share the story of how God ministered to us last week-end after hearing that our grandbaby, Peyton, had Rhabdomyosarcoma, a muscular cancer.
    The diagnosis came on Thursday night. As you can imagine, we were devastated. A cloud of despair had settled over our home and family.
    But, the next morning, a friend came to the house. She began to speak of the tapestry illustration, reminding us that what looks to be a mess on the bottom side from our perspective, is in perfect order on the top, from God's perspective. Then a local pastor came, laid his hands on Peyton's back and prayed for his healing.
    By that same evening, the despair had begun to lift. We began to understand that we had a choice: to give God the glory by choosing to believe in His healing, or give Satan the opportunity to rejoice in the destruction of our faith and relationships. We chose to believe. We chose to put our hope in the ONLY ONE whom could truly do anything to change Peyton's situation.
    It was a little before 5 p.m. on Saturday when Amanda's mom, Nan, and I arrived back home, bringing supper for our family. We were pulling into the driveway when I told Nan that I had just felt a strong sensation of peace sweeping over me, and the assurance that Peyton was ok. She was experiencing the same thing! We praised God and hurried in to the house. Amanda and her grandma met us with excitement in their faces and voices. "Peyton is going to be ok! We just felt God tell us that, and we are at total peace!" Then my mom called. Before we could even tell her what we had just experienced she said, "Peyton is going to be ok. God has given Dad and I such a peace.
    The next morning in our Sunday School class, the prayer list at the front of read, "Peyton Russell, 3 month old baby with cancer." But, before we prayed I felt compelled to open my mouth in faith and announce, "Peyton does not have cancer." I felt kind of silly. The room was silent for a moment, I imagined what I would think if I were hearing that. I would think, "Poor thing, she's in denial." I kind of smiled, and agreed. Yes, I was choosing to deny Satan that victory. I robbed him of what could have been his moment of gleeful satisfaction. My tears confirmed my weakness, but my mouth confirmed my obedience to believe.
    On Monday Justin called the doctor's office to make certain everything was in order for our appointment the following day at Mott's Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor. Peyton had had both an ultrasound and a MRI the previous week. Everything was “all set.” Peyton would have a biopsy on Tuesday, followed by surgery on Wednesday.
    We arrived in Ann Arbor the next morning to learn that none of the images had been sent! No ultrasound, no MRI. The surgeon needed to see the images before he could proceed with the biopsy and surgery. He did say that cancer usually feels hard, not always, but usually. He described Peyton's bump as "squishy." He began to speak words of hope to them, "Maybe," he said, "Midland’s radiologist was wrong."
    On Thursday night the surgeon called Justin and Amanda. He said that after careful review of the images, and consulting with his colleagues, he was nearly 100% sure that Peyton does not have cancer! Instead, they believe he has a vascular lesion. (The "bump," rather significant in size, about the size of a jumbo egg is believed to be a mass of blood vessels, not malignant.) He will see Peyton again next month, and encouraged them to enjoy their baby. We are!
    If you know of others who would benefit from reading this, please forward. To God be the glory, Great things He has done! Yes, abundantly more than we could ask or think!