Sunday, 30 January 2011
There was something different about the atmosphere at church this morning. It was...church, only better somehow. I couldn't quite place it, whatever it was, but I was not left to ponder long as to what it was. Before I get into what actually happened, I will share a bit of myself as it pertains to my beliefs where God is concerned. I am a Christian. I am born-again and I believe that signs, wonders, and miracles were not limited to the very early church but are alive, well, and working today. Now, I know that many Christians believe that these things ended in around 70 AD and with them I do not argue. They have every right to believe what they like and since it has no bearing on one's salvation.
There was a palpable feeling in the air this morning. It was...electric. Something really special, ya know? As the worship team began playing, what began as a sparsely filled service filled up very quickly. Everyone was smiling. Everyone joined in singing. The room was absolutely filled to the ceiling with joy for the Lord. After a few songs pastor got up and began to speak. He announced that Miss Donna had a testimony that she would like to share. The music stopped and the place went quiet. We were all on the edge of our seats awaiting what this dear woman was about to share. Part of me was very nervous because, you see, Miss Donna has been battling breast cancer and there were many Sundays where she was unable to make it to church as a result of her treatments. Every time her husband, Pastor Charles, would walk in without her my heart just sank and I would immediately life her up in prayer. I know I was not alone.
Miss Donna got up and took the microphone from Pastor and began to speak. She began by saying that she had given her testimony already to the Saturday evening service crowd. I really believe this is what sparked the incredible energy that was present this morning. God was at work, my friends, and we were about to hear just how. Her story goes like this...
Six months ago, Miss Donna...a pastor and a teacher at our church school...was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a partial mastectomy and 17 lymph nodes were removed to be tested. Two of the 17 nodes had cancer present so the next step would be for her to have a PET scan. This would allow the doctors to see whether or not the cancer had spread through her body via her lymphatic system. The results of the PET scan told of cancer being present in Miss Donna's lungs. She officially was diagnosed with stage four cancer. She was given two years to live if she responded favorably to chemotherapy.
Now, for Miss Donna, having cancer would result favorably for her either way. If she lived, great! She did not want to leave her family yet and would be so grateful for more time with them. On the other hand if she died, well that would be great too. Perhaps not for her family who would be grieving her loss, but for her because she knew where she would be going. She would be in heaven with the Lord and this gave her such peace!
She really did not want to do the chemo but ultimately decided to for the love of her daughter. She knew that her daughter would just fall apart without her and so she decided to go through with the treatment. The chemo made her nauseous, tired, and weak but her attitude and faith in the Lord remained strong. We, her church family, were praying for her. She read uplifting stories of healing. One story she read was about a woman named Dodie Olsteen. Dodie had been given just a few short weeks to live but through her faith in God she is alive and well today! Miss Donna read 'healing scriptures' and watched TBN as much as possible. Her husband of over 30 years fasted and sat at her bedside many nights and prayed for her. She told us today that she was sure to put on her make up and make sure her wig looked just right (the chemo has left her 'bald as an egg') because she did not want to look 'half dead' while she was going through this time. It was important to her to look as healthy on the outside as she felt the Lord was going to make her on the inside.
So in front of a full house so quiet that you could hear a pin drop, Miss Donna gave her testimony. She told the story that you have just read and wrapped it up by telling us that she had a PET scan this past week and the doctors informed her that they detected NO CANCER! No cancer anywhere in her body!! None. Nada. Can I get an AMEN??? Of course, she will still have some subsequent treatments to ensure it is gone, but man oh man! The moment she finished the sentence the whole service just erupted in cheers and clapping and tears of joy! Everyone in the place was so overjoyed for her and for her family and every one of us knew that God had a hand in this. In fact, He had her in His hands the whole time!
This woman's level of faith is one that I hope to reach as I mature in the Lord. I am sure I do not even come close as she is long in her walk and and I am but a babe...but if I can be half as faithful as she...
God is faithful. God is strong. God is with us...forever and ever.
Do you believe that miracles still happen today? Have you known someone faced with cancer who has/had so much hope? Is God with us in suffering just as much as in miracles?