1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,
2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.
3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.
5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
6 It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.
7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. - 2 Timothy 2:1-7
I just love that God brought me to this passage last night at our ministry year kickoff - His timing is perfect. It was a challenging day for me yesterday as I received more news in my diagnosis, and this verse ministered so powerfully to me. He knows exactly what we need, and He is faithful to give that to us.
That first verse in particular speaks to me in this trial. How tenderly Paul calls Timothy with "my child", it's as if He's saying, "listen to me, this is important." It brings tears to my eyes as I can feel Him gently calling to me, lifting my chin up. Then his words that follow minister to my heart in a way I can barely describe - be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Though some translations say "be strong", they don't speak to me as powerfully as "be strengthened". Be strong puts more of the responsibility on me...Pull your shoulders back and stand up straight, soldier, you can do this. I need that sometimes, but not yesterday. Yesterday, I needed to hear someone will stand in the battle for me, and with me. 'Be strengthened' reminds me that my strength does not come from within me, but rather it comes from the grace of Jesus. We need to continually be strengthened by the grace we are given from Jesus. This battle we're in is just too hard to stand in our own strength.
At the end of the kickoff, they shared a video of a woman standing in a boxing ring, sharing her struggle with breast cancer. As if that didn't specifically minister to me enough, God had something planned for me that was greater - you see, that video held a soft spot in my heart. I saw the woman in that video share her testimony years ago at a Women of Faith conference, and I remember specifically thinking, "Wow. To have faith like that in a battle with cancer, I can't even imagine the struggle, but I want that kind of faith in my life." I so wanted to be a woman of God who could stand in the ring, and here I am. God is so good. I smiled at the irony of Him giving me this glimpse of the broader picture of my life, taking me back to a time when I was a newer believer, desiring to grow, to now...the battles He's already won for me, the way He's been faithful to show up for me, and the way He gotten me ready for this. He has strengthened me by grace for so many years. It was a powerful moment for me.
I can't stand in this diagnosis in my own strength. Realizing I'm probably walking into chemo as part of my treatment was like a punch to the gut yesterday, it literally knocked the wind out of me. But God. He shows up in powerful ways when we lean in and choose Him, when we make Him our priority over all the other silly, little things going on in our lives. He rushes in and strengthens us in His grace.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
Popular posts from this blog
I am a believer in Christ, and I have breast cancer. On August 17, 2017, I was diagnosed with an aggressive (HER2+), recurrent (hormone negative) type of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. At this point, they have not yet staged my cancer because they are waiting for the biopsy results from a suspicious spot in the second breast. The biopsy is scheduled for September 5th, with a lumpectomy to follow on September 7th. They will formally stage my cancer after they biopsy my lymph nodes, which will be taken during the surgery. It doesn't make any sense to me that I have a cancer diagnosis - I am a fairly healthy woman who runs 2 miles almost every day and eats a gluten-free, primarily paleo diet, with no family history at all. But it makes sense to God, and so here I am. Update ~ They found 4 isolated invasions during the lumpectomy. Due to the nature of my cancer (HER2+ and ER-), the recommended protocol is chemotherapy and radiation. Beginning in October, my chemotherapy regime
When we launched our new blog we had no idea if anyone would see it or be helped by it, but we knew that the LORD was prompting us to step out in faith and just do it. The response has been amazing and we are looking forward to how God will use this space for His glory. We have learned over many years of service in a variety of ministries, that God does not require human assistance to realize His plans for individuals, churches, nations, or the human race. But the story of the bible is the story of God’s will playing out through the words and actions of the His children. So…we pray, meditate on his Word, and write from the heart about the truths that mold our faith, guide our actions, and inspire our hearts and minds. Please visit the site and subscribe to continue receiving posts. https://graceinmarriage.com/ It is our sincere hope that you are blessed by our work here and welcome your input on how we can make Grace in Marriage even better. Thank you for your support.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:25-26 What believer would not want to experience the kind deep devotion to God found in these verses? This kind of loyal commitment is the desire of every person of faith....yet it eludes so many of us. If you've been a believer for long, you know there are times it does not come easy. There is a great price involved in reaching the kind of faith found in these verses. This level of commitment is only achieved through fierce struggle. The battle between Spirit and flesh is constant, but it is in the battle that we are strengthened when we choose to lean in and trust God, to turn to Him for our strength in the battle, and to keep our eyes fixed on Him despite what the world throws at us. Asaph wrote these words only after a difficult and confusing crisis of faith. He was tempted to com