Proclaim His Glory! MINISTRIES
Ordinary Lives Transformed by Extraordinary Experiences with God
by Bonnie Tackett
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
The day dawned brightly on that Monday morning. As the alarm clock on my nightstand buzzed, I stretched my arm over to whack it one more time for a few extra minutes of sleep. “Oh-h-h-h;” I moaned as my aching body stung my consciousness again. “Okay, Lord, for You. Just for You,” I said, trying to focus on my real incentive to get up.
After showering, I quickly dressed, grabbed my gear, and headed out the door. I had an appointment at the hospital radiology department for a mammogram at 8:15 a.m., and arrived just in time to discover that Registration had not received an order for the test. I volunteered to run upstairs to my office, call my doctor and request a copy be faxed over to me, so I could run it back downstairs to the registration department.
“Typical,” I grumbled to myself.
After I received the order, Registration informed me that I had missed my scheduled time of 8:15 a.m. and could be worked in about 1:00 p.m. instead. “All right,” I said trying to be polite. One o’clock came and I headed downstairs for outpatient testing.
After I completed all the paperwork, a volunteer escorted me to a lovely room that was better furnished than my own living room. I barely had time to sit down on the luxurious sofa when a door opened and the mammography tech asked me to come in. I followed her into another room and then followed her instructions to undress and put on a skimpy gown. I turned to address the cold steel machine in front of me and feeling valiant, I engaged it almost like engaging the enemy in a war. Stalwartly, I approached and then yielded myself. Arranged and rearranged, I stood there defeated and embarrassed.
Finally, the testing was completed. She noticed on my paperwork that I was an employee at the hospital. She seemingly considered me part of the “family,” and went on to show me the developed films.
“I’ll have your old films ‘couriered’ over right away from North Main Imaging for comparison,” she said. “If the radiologist wants you to have an ultrasound, we’ll call you. What’s your extension?”
Couriered over right away? A strange sort of apprehension seized me. This was not the usual procedure when everything was normal. I brought myself back to the situation at hand and numbly said, “4415.” She patted me on the back and directed me to get dressed. I fumbled with my clothes, discarded the gown in the dirty laundry bin and left still in a daze.
I returned to my office and plunged into my work. The clock read 2:25 p.m. “Wow, I’ve been gone over an hour,” I muttered to myself. “I’d better get going. I’m way behind.” The time passed quickly and 6:00 p.m. arrived uneventfully.
“See you guys later. Have a good night,” I said to my coworkers as I clocked out and headed for the employee parking garage. As I approached my vehicle, I said my usual, “Thank you. Lord, for my little red car,” opened the door, and got in.
All at once, with a fury, the realization of the day’s events came to mind, Hey. Bonnie, this stuff sounds serious, I said to myself. You might have breast cancer. You know, the Big C. My breath disappeared as I was enveloped in a weakness I had never felt before. Fear flooded my mind and grabbed hold of my heart. I tried to shake it off as I shook my head, turned on the ignition and drove out of the garage.
My vision suddenly blurred as tears filled my eyes. Why am I crying? I asked myself. Am I afraid of dying? No, that wasn’t the issue. I’m a Christian and death would be a graduation to glory. “Okay, then why am I crying?” I asked myself aloud.
Suddenly, the Lord spoke to my heart, reminding me of His Truth. Perfect love casts out fear.
“What am I afraid of Lord, that I don’t realize I’m afraid of?” My son whom I had not seen nor heard from in over a year came to mind. “Am I afraid that I’ll die without seeing him again?” I asked the Lord.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, He reminded me.
I acknowledged and answered, “God is Sovereign.” Then I began to see His sovereignty in the events of the day. As I mulled over the circumstances, I realized that He had rearranged the timing of my appointment, knowing in advance that I would have a difficult time coping with the situation all day long in front of my coworkers. The afternoon flashed by quickly as He kept me busy focusing on others and protected me from baring my distracted soul to my unsaved coworkers in a time of weakness. This situation was only to be between the Lord and me.
As I considered my very real physical symptoms that could prove to be those of breast cancer, I prayed, “Lord, help me get through this. I can’t do it on my own. You know that and so do I. Do I really have cancer?”
Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.
“I know, Lord, cancer isn’t the issue. Trust is. Help me to trust you more and not just resign myself to a bad situation.”
You are more than a conqueror through Him who loves you.
“Yes, Lord, not ‘survivors’, not ‘overcomers’ in our own strength, but ‘conquerors’ through You.”
I arrived home, greeted my little Maltese, Frosty with a big hug, sat down at the computer and typed out my story. Then, as I anticipated the next day, I went to bed, and slept soundly. With peace in my heart, and my eyes focused on Jesus, I claimed Philippians 3:12-14, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Regardless of the outcome Lord Jesus, please help me stand firm and keep my eyes on You, I prayed.
Two days passed. I received a call from my regular doctor. He wanted me to come in. Obediently, I agreed to see him the next day and braced myself for any bad news.
“There’s no easy way to say this Bonnie, so I’ll just tell you outright. It looks like you have breast cancer. I want you to see a surgeon right away for a biopsy and we’ll go from there.”
Later, when all the tests were completed and the diagnoses were final, the Lord drenched me in His grace so that I could rest quietly in Him as I underwent chemotherapy, surgery, radiation treatments, and courses of hormone-inhibiting medications. Through it all, He reminded me to look ahead with joyous anticipation to that which He had called me—the celebration of my victory through Him—the very real ultimate and eternal goal.
Months later, my oncologist informed me that I had a metastatic stage four cancer with a low expectation of a five-year survival time. While there for a follow-up visit, I peeked at his most recent office notes in my medical chart. He stated that there was a real possibility I had been cured.
Excitedly, the words, Praise Jesus, resounded deep within my soul. Confident in Christ and smiling victoriously, I got ready to leave. I went on my way with the words of one of my favorite songs, Redeemer, ringing true in my mind:
The very same God that spins things in orbit
He runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I’m broken
They conquered death to bring me victory
Now I know my Redeemer lives, I know my Redeemer lives!
“I love you Lord and thank you for loving me,” I said as I basked in the joy of His presence.
“Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” Psalm 147:1
Lord Jesus, I thank You for being my constant companion and my closest friend! The assurance of your presence gives me great hope. Knowing You are always by my side gives me the strength to face anything that comes my way. I will proclaim Your praise forever and ever! Amen.
Excerpt from Experiencing the Great I Am, by Bryant & Cindy Heflin, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Copyright © 2005, Bryant & Cindy Heflin, All rights reserved
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