Famous British Christian missionary to China, Hudson Taylor, was once quoted as saying:
“I have found that there are three stages to every great work of God. First it is impossible, then it is difficult and then it is done.”
Have you found this true in your life?
In 2012, my husband was diagnosed with a hideous and deadly form of bladder cancer. Nothing in his lifestyle was to blame, except severe stress which we came to learn is very detrimental to our health. Traditional western medicine had little to offer us in the way of healing or hope. At this stage, saving his life seemed impossible.
With no apparent options, we turned to God with burning tears and desperate cries. He was our only hope. As Christian author William McDonald would say,
“The best prayer comes from a strong inward need of necessity. When our lives are serene and placid, our prayers are apt to be dull and listless. When we reach a crisis, a moment of danger, a serious illness, or a heavy bereavement, then our prayers are fervent and vital. A sense of urgency, helplessness of conscious need is the womb from which the best prayers are born.”
Heavings of the Soul
With great heavings of our souls, we researched other life-saving alternatives that would at least give my husband a fighting chance.
Hundreds of prayers were offered during sleepless nights; more prayers were shared together every morning, as my husband and I united our hearts in purpose and submission. Dozens of family members and friends met with us regularly in our home for still more prayer, praise and worship. Our church elders layed hands on us and anointed my husband with oil. We saturated our quest for healing with fervent prayer—and the clung to promises of God that He had given us in His Word.
Gradually, inch by inch and step by step, we found our way. As a result of prayerful consideration, we pursued eight specific alternative medicine therapies—each non toxic, painless and immune boosting—(all are explained fully in my book www.healedhealthyandwhole.com). However, far from immediate results, we experienced many heartwrenching ups and downs but we persevered in faith. Perseverance is a choice you must make, too—never give up!
Miraculously, over a period of many months, what had once looked impossible slowly morphed into difficult. Grounded in promises from Scripture, we moved forward with unwavering commitment on all fronts: spiritual, physical, medical, and relational.
Progress was painfully slow and set backs happened. But, by persevering, at the end of ten months the impossible suddenly became possible, and then, we were actually done!
Medical tests confirmed that there was no trace of cancer and every subsequent test since then—four years later—has confirmed this same miracle.
This experience has radically changed my spiritual life, faith, priorities, and my understanding of God. I grew from being a Christian who believed in Jesus to one who believed Jesus, a distinction that is—literally—life changing. Today, we we refer to our lives as before the cancer and after the cancer.
Since the publishing of my book, many friends, acquaintances and strangers reach out to us for help. Here are a few spiritual insights from our experience that I hope will be valuable.
- Turn to God. As fast as possible, take your eyes off your present situation at the human level with all its brokenness, limitations and fear, and turn to God with all your heart, soul and mind. If you have never fully surrendered to Christ before, this is the time. Give it all to Him—your heart, your mind, your situation, your life! He is the one with supernatural wisdom and resources that you’re going to need to get you through.
- Resist the Temptation. It’s tempting to blame God when bad things happen. We might wonder “How could you let this happen to me?” That line of thinking will bring even more suffering into your life and hinder you. God is not punishing you! Trials come from many sources and for many reasons. For starters, we live in a broken world and we also have an archenemy who “is always seeking who he may devour.” God will use your suffering and bring good out of the situation.
- Spend daily time in the Scriptures and find God’s promises for your situation. God never sends us a trial without a promise about what He is doing. Spend time is solitude and quiet surrender so you can hear Him clearly. He is waiting for you there.
- Memorize the promises and pray these back to Him. Repeat them back to yourself when the waves of fear seek to topple you. God’s truth will protect your mind and heart and allow you to keep standing through these assaults.
- Confess, repent and turn from any known sin in your life. Sin is an impediment to your intimacy with God and the Holy Spirit’s ability to flow freely.
- Invite others to pray and tell them what you’re goal is so everyone can be aligned in their requests. You need the prayer support for clear thinking and inner strength. If your trial is marathon and not a sprint, you’ll especially need the long term support.
- Keep your prayer teams motivated by reporting any progress along the way, however small. They need to know that their efforts are making a difference, for they have battles of their own to fight, and get tired and discouraged, too.
- Faithfully follow the promptings of the Spirit, even when these may not make logical sense. We see only “through a glass darkly,” but God sees the whole picture. His ways can be mysterious, but our times are in His hands and He is working out a blessing and a purpose for it all.
May the Lord give you saving faith, strength, perseverance, and grant that all your impossibles become possible.
God bless you.