When you read the Old Testament, do the Israelites wear you out? If you're like me, you've thought that more than once while cruising through the Pentateuch (except Leviticus on the cruising part - no one has ever cruised through Leviticus). I mean, I just get frustrated with how they're so painfully slow to catch on. Talk about your vicious cycles. They experience hardship ... they whine a lot ... God delivers them. They experience more hardship ... they whine a little louder ... God still delivers them. Even more hardship ... they whine even louder than before ... God delivers them yet again.
Somehow, though God repeatedly rescues them in exceptionally miraculous ways, they go on stumbling around in oblivion. I mean, wouldn't you expect that if you'd escaped 400 years of captivity through a parted sea you'd remember it for a few days? Me too! But, not these people. They get out in that desert and what do they do? Forget that a sea was parted in their honor and start crying about food. They go so far as to declare they would've rather died stuffed full of meat in Egypt than hungry in the desert. You'd think at this point that God would just turn the desert into a sea and drown them all. Instead, he shows mercy and rains down food from Heaven. You think surely they'll realize now that God always provides. Then, you turn the page, and they're wailing about how their kids and cattle would prefer all you can drink in Egypt over death by thirst in the desert. You find yourself thinking, "They've done it now. He really is gonna drown 'em all!" Instead, he turns a rock into a faucet running with water perfect in every way. At last, you think this is the miracle that will make it impossible for them to forget God's power to save. Not so much. They forget again and again and again, and the cycle just continues. And, Almighty God, rather than giving up on them, repays their faithlessness with mercy and grace.
They just make you wanna scream, don't they? Then, suddenly you get it. You're exactly like them. We're exactly like them, aren't we? Trials come ... we forget God's power ... He delivers anyway. Next trial ... our memory fails us again ... God still shows up. Truth is, we have no business defaming the Israelites when we suffer from spiritual amnesia ourselves. Sometimes, it's easy to get so overwhelmed by the details that we forget how many times God has saved us from them.
In my case, He's bigger than cancer, bigger than surgery, bigger than radiation, bigger than feared speech problems, bigger than a feared inability to sing, bigger than feeding tubes, bigger than tracheostomies ... bigger than it all. He's not just bigger than my details, though. He's so big that He can be bigger than all of our details at the same time. The details of your life are no match for Him either.
"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." -Exodus 14:14
Next appointment: Friday at 2pm with Dr. Lisa Gilbert, a general oncologist. I haven't decided on a treatment course yet. This will be my last specialist meeting at Vanderbilt. After this appointment, I will decide whether or not I am going to pursue the University of Chicago option further or cancel that appointment and schedule surgery here. Thanks for joining me in praying for healing, God's guidance, and God's glorification through it all.