“So when they were assembled they asked Him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will re-establish your kingdom and restore it to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know or become acquainted what time brings [the things and events of time and their definite periods] or fixed years and seasons (their critical niche in time), which the Father has been appointed (fixed and reserved) by His own choice and authority and personal power. BUT you SHALL receive POWER (ability, efficiency, power and might) when the HOLY SPIRIT has come UPON YOU, and you shall be MY WITNESSES.’” Acts 1:6-8 (Amplified Bible, emphasise mine)
Sam and I were playing a game of “Upwords” in the waiting room at 1 o’clock today when a man and his wife came to sit. His bed wasn’t ready. “Hmm, Sam said, “same time we got here yesterday mum. I wonder if he will have to wait 8 hours like we did.” All year, it seems we have been waiting. Waiting to go to x-ray, waiting for a bone marrow biopsy, waiting for a specialist, waiting for chemotherapy, waiting for pharmacy, waiting for a car space, waiting in traffic, waiting for her counts to go up, waiting for her liver functions to go down, waiting for a bed. Waiting for a miracle.
Back in the beginning Sam was told “You have Leukaemia.” After the original disbelief that this could actually be happening to us the next question was when will she be better? When will the treatment end? When will she be able to go back to Uni? When will she be able to work again? How much leave will I need to take?
When, when, when? It reminds me of that New Zealand comedy (Flight of the Conchords): “Win, win, win?” “Stop qistioning me!”
Although this doesn’t feel like a comedy!
I wonder how God feels when we constantly ask to know and become acquainted with what time brings. He doesn’t explain the seasons but He tells us how to endure them.
Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.
Romans 5:4 And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
2 Corinthians 1:10 [For it is He] Who rescued and saved us from such a perilous death, and He will still rescue and save us; in and on Him we have set our hope (our joyful and confident expectation) that He will again deliver us [from danger and destruction and draw us to Himself].
There is not one thing we can do to change where we are at right now. None of this is easy. We can do it alone and in fear or we can:
1 Peter 5:7 Cast the whole of our care [all our anxieties, all our worries, all our concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for us affectionately and cares about us watchfully.
Sometimes as a mum I feel it is my responsibility to worry. I used to make my mum worry when I was a teenager. She used to tell me that she “Prayed and she worried, then she prayed and she worried.” I understand! I am exactly that same. I love my children so much. I want their lives to be perfect.
Yet God reminds me that it is: 2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
For once in my life, I can’t be home on time for Jack. I can’t get another job to pay the bills; I can’t always be home for Emma’s late night chats: I can’t even stay awake long enough some nights for Sam’s midnight rigors resulting from chemotherapy.
Though I try, I can’t demand a bed when it’s convenient for me. I can’t even walk out of the hospital and complain that the service is so bad I am taking her somewhere else. I can’t make my daughter better. I can’t take her place. I would if I could, but I can’t. And through it all God knows. He knows the time. He knows the season. He knows… He knows…
Many, many years ago when I was 12, my journal records the words “Whenever, wherever, however, whatever, God use my life. Here I am send me.” This is a far cry from what I ever imagined. Somehow after attending every single night of the Billy Graham Crusade of 1979 I thought I’d be preaching in stadiums by now. I used to sit at the very highest spot in the bleachers at the Randwick Racecourse; I used to sing my heart out “Just as I am, I come.” Then, while my Dad went forward to counsel on the altar call, I used to cry out to God and dream that I would stand on that platform one day. I thought my generation was the “stadium generation.” Just ask my Mum and Dad. I’d even let you read my journals.
I didn’t think this would be my ‘whatever’ but my song resounds the same line, “Just as I am, I come.” What I do know though, is that God’s work continues throughout the generations. That the work He has begun in me continues through my offspring. I know when I prayed for Samantha I promised God her life on the altar. We called her Samantha after Samuel ‘who listened for the voice of God.’ I wanted to be like Hannah. Her middle name is “Kate” which means pure because we wanted her to live a holy life. She has.
Every now and then, Sam says it’s weird when she has lived her life as ‘right’ as she possibly could, that this would happen to her. I have to agree. It is weird. We’ve been through lots of stuff. It doesn’t always make sense.
“But we shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us.” My precious Holy Spirit. You call my name. You whisper your promises again and again. You recall your word. You promise your faithfulness. You remind me of eternity. You make all things beautiful in your time. You “plant eternity in men’s hearts, you alone satisfy me.”
When I left today (to come home to help with Jack’s English assignment only to get here and find he’d gone surfing instead) Sam had still not started chemo. Dr Greenwood came at 12, to say we were going ahead with it. That as much as it’s a ‘full on regime’ in time, it could be the thing that saves her life. He said they will continue to do bone marrow and look at the molecular tests to see if she is responding. They will keep going like this for as long as it takes and in the meanwhile we will look for an unrelated donor. It’s in God’s hands. I am empowered by Him. He intercedes on Sam’s behalf through me and through us.
I just called her and it is 6pm. The chemotherapy has started. She is feeling sick, weak and like vomiting. Reid is with her. I will go back later if she needs me to by with her and stay the night if necessary. This regime, as you may remember, if you have read earlier blogs is made up of an assortment of chemotherapy drugs administered intravenously 24 hours a day over 6 days. A lumber puncture and a bone marrow will be conducted with every cycle.
The road ahead is not easy for any of us, especially not for Sam. God’s word and the presence of His Holy Spirit sustains us. Join us to pray by clicking on “Prayers For Sam” in the blog roll.
Feel free to leave words of encouragement in the comments. We appreciate you for coming along side us for miracles.