Monday, July 25, 2016

The Healer of Body and Soul

"I see shattered, You see whole
I see broken, You see beautiful
And You're helping me to believe
That You're restoring me piece by piece.

What was dead, now lives again
My heart's beating, beating inside my chest
Oh, I'm coming alive with joy and destiny
'Cause You're restoring me piece by piece

There's nothing too dirty
That You can't make worthy
You wash me in Mercy
I am clean

Washed in the blood of Your sacrifice
Your blood flowed red and made me white
My dirty rags are purified
I am clean."

These lyrics are from one of my newest favorite songs, "Clean," by Natalie Grant.  I had heard bits of it before.  But a couple of weeks ago, as I was sitting in the car while Daddy ran in to pick up my medicines at the drug store, it came on.  And I was able to listen to it completely.  Wow!  What a powerful song.  I have had the chorus singing over and over in my head.  I've listened to it, I'm sure, no less than 100 times since that day.  And I'm hoping to sing it in church when I'm able to share my testimony...which will hopefully be soon.  Which would be wonderful!  I haven't been able to sing due to my tongue in months.  Months!!! That has been so very difficult because I love to sing.  But I'm thankful because when something you love is taken away, you develop a new found appreciation for it.  And now I cherish that ability more than every before.  But I digress...that is not the focus of this post.

As I've been reflecting on these lyrics over the past couple of weeks, God has spoken to my heart and shown me how, for me, this song has a dual meaning and purpose.  First of all it so aptly applies to my cancer battle.  The verses..."I see shattered, You see whole.  I see broken, You see beautiful.  What was dead, now lives again.  My heart's beating inside my chest.  Oh, I'm coming alive with joy and destiny.  You're restoring me piece by piece."  All of this describes how I have felt on this journey.  I see a body that is so broken.  So shattered.  So covered with scars and tubes and ports.  I have lost my hair, my skin is flaking off, and while I'm loving the weight loss, I've not enjoyed the loss of muscle and muscle tone which leaves my skin hanging.  I don't see whole and beautiful when I look in the mirror.  But God sees what I could be and what He intends for me to be.  And what I will be when I'm healed.  And I can see the dead coming to life.  I am full of joy and destiny.  And He IS restoring my body piece by piece.  I can see a tongue that was almost covered with cancer and folded over now almost looking normal.  In fact, I just took my first actual bite of food without having to pinch it off first!  I see tumors in my neck shrinking and going away.  Isaiah 53: 5 says, "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed."  The filthiness of this cancer in my body and the poison of the chemo that is killing the good along with bad...He will purify.  He will wash my body clean of the cancer cells and of the chemo meds after they have done their job.  He will heal the wounds from the tubes and ports.  And hopefully He will keep me from needing surgery.  But if not, He will heal me from that, too.  Nothing is too dirty or hard for him.  He is restoring me and making me clean and healthy.

But there is a second, and more important, part to the meaning of these lyrics.  And that is that God is healing the cancer of my soul.  And of your soul.  See, our lives become cancerous with sin.  I could list a bunch, but I won't  You know the areas with which you struggle.  I know my difficult areas.  What may be easy for me to avoid may be your Achilles' heel.  What you can pass without a second glance, I can't help but be consumed by.  Our bodies, even if they are healthy physically, are eaten up with the cancer of sin.  Even if you think you live a "good life"...which let's get one leads a good life.  The Bible says in Romans 3:10-12, "As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.  They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one."  So no matter how many times we sit in church or give to the poor or share love with others, we are still as filthy rags before Him.  Those acts are good!  And we should do those and so much more.  But we are born with a desire to do evil.  It's the great human experience...good vs. evil.  And it is a lifelong struggle to do what is right in His sight.  But no matter how much we try, we can never do the right thing 100% of the time.  But God...

But God... this has become one of my favorite phrases from the Bible in the past year.  I've got a whole other post about my "But God" moments through this...I started on it a month ago, but haven't gotten very far.  But it will come soon.  Anyway... I digress.  (Chemo brain...the struggle is real!)  See, we can bring before God every filthy dirty rag.  All our sin.  And there is nothing in ourselves to do anything about that.  But God!  God can.  And did.  Through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, we CAN be made clean.  No matter what you bring to Him to make clean, He can and will do it.  We simply have to be willing to humble ourselves and bring it to Him.  Unashamed.  And He will meet us with grace and mercy and clean us.  Yes, there are times He disciplines us.  My parents definitely did their share of disciplining me growing up.  But discipline is always with the purpose of correction and growing us into the person He desires us to be.  It can be hard and difficult to bear.  I sure didn't like those spankings when I was younger.  But I'm thankful my parents did it!  It has made me into the responsible woman I am today.  It has enabled me to think of others before myself and to serve God.  However, something God never comes at us with is shame and condemnation.  Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."  See?  He never looks on you with condemnation.  No matter how ugly the sin.  When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He cleanses us from head to toe, inside and out with His blood.  So that means that when God looks at us, He sees He's perfect holy Son.  That precious blood makes the ugly cancer of our souls clean and whole.  We have been washed in the blood of His sacrifice.  And there's no cleaner feeling than knowing you have been washed in that blood and can have no fear to stand before God one day.

Jesus is the Healer of both body and soul.  I know God is healing me of this nasty cancer.  I can see evidence of it daily.  And I know He is constantly healing my soul of the ugly cancer of sin.  I can see evidence of that daily, too.  And if I get to the point that I don't see evidence of it and others stop seeing evidence of it, I need to get away and alone with Him and ask Him to show me where I need to confess sin and draw close to Him.

I'm so thankful that He is restoring me piece by piece.  Sometimes that process is so very slow!  But God knows the best timing and way to heal us.  So I'll trust Him for the details.  And I'll allow Him to wash me clean both inside and out, body and soul!

I'm almost done with chemo for the day and "get" to go home on my pump for the week.  I'm already started to feel tired and weak.  But that means it's working!  Please pray for me this week to be able to keep the nausea to a minimum and to be able to eat a little something each day.  And for me not to have severe bowel issues like I usually do at the end of chemo week...sorry, but just keeping it real!  God is even concerned with our bowels!  It's Biblical!  Lamentations 1:20 says, " Behold, O Lord; for I am in distress:  my bowels are troubled;"  Just keeping it real!  But seriously, I do covet your prayers and know they are working!  The progress I'm seeing is more than what chemo can do.  What a might God we serve!

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