Tag Archive | cancer

Finding Your Song

This is a wonderful sentiment by the late Maya Angelou…

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

imageOne has but to walk outdoors on a sunny day and listen to the sound of a chorus of birds to understand this thought. Even in the captivity of a small cage, a bird still has the ability to find its song. A friend once told me about taking a walk one day, and feeling the Spirit of God encouraging him to sing… to lift up a new song to Him as he strolled in God’s cathedral, the Great Outdoors. As he walked and began to sing, he noticed something interesting began to happen. He noticed the sound of creation getting louder and louder. As he found his song, creation itself joined in the chorus, and the birds in the numerous trees about him began to lift up their voices as well. After a time, he said he stopped singing, and something uncanny happened…

Many of the birds stopped singing as well, and the sound of creation slowly died away.

In Luke 19, we find this story…

Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: 

“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
  Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

We are all given a song. For some, that song is sung in the midst of gratitude and thanksgiving; a song of grateful worship to God for His goodness and favor.

But for others, that song may be sung from a place of hardship and pain.

How do you sing for joy when you are watching a loved one slowly slip away because of Alzheimer’s Disease or ALS?

How do you sing with gladness when the diagnosis is cancer?

How do you worship when you are a parent standing over the grave of a child gone too early?

We sing, not because we have the answer, but because we have a song. We worship, not because we are good, but because He is Holy. We seek out His presence, not as an escape from the world we are in, but as a place of safety and refuge for our souls while we are on the journey through this life.

 An interesting thing about dementia patients is, even as they are losing their ability to remember friends and family members — as well as their ability to even talk — many still have the ability to recognize songs and sing or hum a tune.

There is something about the language of music that speaks to all of us on a spiritual level. We are all made for worship. God has put His song into our DNA, and pursuing an intimate relationship with Him in worship is the first step to finding your song. The Psalmist wrote…

I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. ~ Psalm 104:33

He was determined to worship as long as he had breath in his lungs; no qualifier, no expectation.

Maybe when we get to the point of unconditional worship — when we are singing our song, not because we have an answer, but because we have a God-given song — we’ll find that, in that obedience, we will find the answers we are looking for in His presence.

It could also be that, by spending time in His presence, we’ll discover that knowing the answers will become less important than knowing Him.

When The Diagnosis is Defeat

“When adversity comes, you praise God.”

That was what my friend Terry had always been taught. When those tough times come, you just stand there, stare down the storm, and praise God.

However, on January 8, 2012, praising God was not very high on Terry’s priority list. After experiencing some problems, and noticing a lump that had developed only over a couple of days, and that ran from his chest up toward his shoulder, Terry decided to visit his doctor. His doctor was pretty blunt with the assessment:

“You have extensive small cell carcinoma (a very fast growing and aggressive form of cancer). You probably only have 6 to 12 months to live.”

A very shocked Terry had little time to process this news and the implications. He began chemotherapy immediately… the next day to be exact. While the prognosis was grim, doctors were going to try to do what they could to try to help him.

In her book, On Death and Dying, psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross outlines the 5 stages of grief for someone who is dying: Denial (isolation), anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

“I immediately began going through the stages. In the coming weeks, I dealt with anger, denial, and depression.”

But after some initial grieving, something miraculous happened:

Terry found a spark of faith.

He found out that people all over the country were praying for him, praying for his healing. People from all walks of life were joining together in faith for a husband, father, and brother many had not even met.

“I was at my sister’s barber shop”, Terry recalled. “A Christian lawyer was there and asked if he could pray for me. As he prayed, I felt some long-seeded emotional pain begin to disappear. I felt healing – emotional healing – beginning to take place.”

Terry was sent to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX for more treatment. During his numerous visits to MDA, he would undergo radiation therapy… for three weeks at a time.

After his first stay at MDA, Terry came home. That Sunday, while at Abba’s House for the morning service, Terry came forward for prayer. “As Pastor prayed over me, I could feel the anointing of the Holy Spirit.”

Drawing on these prayers, Terry began to spend more time in personal prayer, time in the Word, and listening to anointed worship music and healing Scriptures. Through his Lifegroup at Abba’s House, Terry was introduced to the book, The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. The book teaches that, if we will just keep “circling” the promises of God through prayer, that God will ultimately deliver. One of Terry’s favorite quotes from the book is “God has determined that certain expressions of His power will only be exercised in response to prayer. Simply put: God will not do it unless you pray for it.”

Holding on to the prayers that had been offered up on his behalf, as well as the belief that his mission on this earth was not over, Terry refused to stop believing in a loving Father who wanted to heal him. He continued to “draw the prayer circle” around his need, and continued to believe for his healing.

On February 13, 2013, Terry was declared “cancer-free” by his doctors! At a time when medical science had all but written him off, Terry believed God. “Don’t stop! Don’t give up,” he says. “God will answer your prayers. It may take a while, but his promises are ‘yes and amen (so be it)’. Hold God to His word, and don’t give doubt the tiniest foothold!”

As you can imagine, the medical cost of a catastrophic illness such as this can be astronomical. However, Terry just smiles, “God has met our needs. Not one bill has gone unpaid. I haven’t worked in over a year. However, we continue to pay our tithes and give, and God miraculously meets our needs”.

God is true to His Word. Throughout Scripture, He gives us His promises to heal and deliver, and His promises are as good today – as “yes and amen” now – as they were when He originally breathed the Word to those who wrote it down.

So here is the question? Do you need healing? Do you want to be healed – physically, emotionally, spiritually?

If the answer is YES, I hope you will join me at this year’s Fresh Oil New Wine Conference. We are believing for a mighty, healing outpouring this year.

Come and get into the circle! For more info, just click the image below…

FONW2013