We had a guest speaker/singer in church today. He spoke about asking God to give us the grace to handle a thousand things. There was no way he could have known that I’d recently started reading a book I’ve had for months called A Thousand Gifts, where the author set out to make a list of a thousand graces from God’s hand. She writes beautifully of how that process changed her life. There was no way the speaker could have known I’d decided to make my own list of 1000 graces and that the first thing on my list would be the biggest thing of a thousand things I have to handle in my own life right now.
He spoke of God’s refreshing, and told us to ask for it. He said that God is as concerned with our refreshing as he is with our victory. There is no way the speaker could have known how long I have lived so close to the edge in my life, how stressed and worn out I am, how desperately I need refreshing, and how I’d decided colon cancer was the way God was going to provide refreshing for me. I mean, you know, 4-6 weeks of recovery time is also 4-6 weeks of time to be refreshed and renewed. My main task will be to rest and let my body be healed. What better time for a soul to also heal and be refreshed?
One of the speaker’s gifts is the ability to pray for people and usually after the service he will pray for anyone who would like to be prayed over. I stood in line and waited my turn. When I got to him, he told me that I had tattoos that God wants to remove, labels that are no longer appropriate to who I am. He says God wants to put a new tattoo on my forehead, a new label.
There is no way that man could have known that I have been laughing at the irony of me getting a tattoo one day (they will tattoo the cancerous spot the day before the surgery so that the surgeon can find it) and having it removed the very next day, when they remove the tattoo AND the cancerous spot. I am very reassured by knowing God wants to remove my tattoos. I am grateful.
He also mentioned that I carry a lot of pain and that God wants to take that too. I’ve been thinking about this one a while myself, believing it is time for me to lay some things down and quit identifying myself by my pains. He said there should be none of this talk of me saying God should not have to take my pain. I think there is also a message for me in that statement. I know that in dealing with the colon cancer I will have to allow others to carry part of my burden. I am accustomed to being the strong one. I will have to learn to accept my weaknesses.
I often say that I have grown up hearing about God’s grace but I struggle to understand it. And I have been told God loves me but I struggle with that too. Today I figured something out. God is not chasing me down to tell me what all I have done wrong in my life. He is pursuing me because he loves me, because he wants me to be in his company. I truly believe God is using colon cancer in my life to refresh me and to love me. I am grateful. Colon cancer will be number one on my list of a thousand gifts.
But for God’s grace, there is no way that man could have known any of the things he said that were hitting my heart with the precision of a laser.