Since becoming a Christian over 11 years ago, I’ve heard many great testimonies from others who have done global mission work. It started out as a fantasy full of danger, adventure, and huge masses of people being saved. I got a passport hoping I would be setting out soon to do these great works I was dreaming of. Well, that passport never got used and expired this past January. My renewal passport is “in process” right now and should arrive soon. Good. I’m going to Romania April 29th.
I often pray scripture over my life (and over others, sorry if that has ever messed you up). One I prayed often was: “[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death…” (Philippians 3:10). Yes, I pray in the amplified version. Life then became a much greater challenge than I expected. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because of all the extra words in the amplified, but rather because I was praying the heart of the Father. And when I asked the Lord why I was being so terribly crushed, He said, “But my child, this is what you’ve asked for.” So I pressed on and took refuge in the Lord. Never be afraid of what man can do to you. None of that matters when you are Kingdom focused.
Many years ago I had a friend challenge me by asking what I would like to ask of the Lord. It was a strangely Holy moment. I knew God’s ear was turned toward my response. Perhaps I haven’t yet learned from the above example so I, without hesitation, said John 14:12: “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father.” What are these things that I am to do? I don’t think I fully comprehend the vastness of what can be accomplished because of Jesus. I needed to get over my fantasy of missions and truly desire to accomplish what is in the heart of the Father, to let Him use me as He desires.
Last year was horrid. I lost my dad, lost my job, filed bankruptcy, and then I was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. Did I mention last year was horrid? Yes. Quite horrid. I’ve always recognized the Lord as my Healer, but this challenged me. Although I had many dark moments, I continued to abide in the Lord and not depart from His Word. Truth is setting me free from all the snares of last year. I told my doctor God would cure me despite his report that I was incurable. My doctor told me that according to medical statistics I will die, the good news being I may have many years left though. God is healing me. The tumors continue to shrink. We quit chemo after six weeks (half way through treatment), no radiation, and no masectomy. And my doctor, although he sticks with his medical statistics, said that a “strange occurrence” could happen and I could be healed. What’s so strange about Jesus, Jehovah Rapha, my God Who never refused healing, the Lord Who wept when Lazarus died and then brought him back to life? I am confident that the Lord is always willing to heal. He never refused to heal anyone who touched Him in faith or asked to be well. And if they died, He raised them from the dead. He’s just that awesome and merciful.
Now that I got that out of the way. Where does going to Romania come in? After being given the cancer death sentence I did have to deal with the reality that I could die from this. During worship one morning I couldn’t get rid of that dark cloud bringing that reality. God broke in and said, “You can choose. Live or die. You are mine and I have a place for you. But have you forgotten John 14:12?” You see, I was having thoughts about dying and being with Jesus, to be out of this cruel world. Wouldn’t that be easier than this struggle I was in? That I could die was a reality, but after hearing His voice I grabbed a hold of Truth and recommitted to living in God’s perfect will where He would be glorified. I had to ask myself if I was truly committed to doing all the Lord commands me to do? Would I be willing to GO? Would I bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth? “…I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us? Then said I, Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
So, here I am, awaiting the arrival of my new passport and searching for cheap flights to Romania. Here’s where I will now begin to “…overcome (conquer) him [the accuser] by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of [my] testimony, for [I] did not love and cling to life even when faced with death…” (Revelation 12:11). This life is not worth living if I’m not giving myself fully to the Lord in obedience to His will and commands.