Sunday, October 1, 2017

Take No Thought

It has been two months since Ed completed the six weeks of radiation. By now the swelling should have decreased enough to see clearly in Ed's brain. Tomorrow (Monday) Ed plans to have his MRI.

I have been dreading this day. The doctor says it is not a big deal. This MRI is just to give a baseline for future MRIs. I'm glad to have a doctor that is calm and positive. But I've heard what a terrible beast glioblastoma can be. What if it has already began regrowing?

But for the last weeks, every time I thought of October 2 and was tempted to panic, I thought, "Take no thought for tomorrow."

Last winter, the children memorized Matthew 6:25-34 And as every mom knows, when you help a child memorize a passage of Scripture, you end up learning it yourself Very Well.

Did God know that I would need to have these verses imbedded in my mind? I'm guessing it wasn't a mistake. (We also learned Psalm 90 last year, but I'll save that for another post.) Here is the Matthew passage.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:25-34)

What does it mean to "take no thought"? To me it means having a firm belief in the greatness and goodness of God and a willingness to leave tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after - in His hands. It doesn't mean making no plans for tomorrow, not grocery shopping, or refusing to buy a winter coat. It does mean seeking God first, which, I have found, doesn't leave a lot of room for worry.

I'm always encouraged by your stories of God's faithfulness. What does this passage mean to you? How do you seek God first, particularly in those challenging times? How do you defeat fear and worry? Please share with us in the comment section.

23 comments :

  1. Hi Gina,

    I have been following your blog for a short time and just had to comment on this post. When reading this tonight my heart was pounding because just a few days I quoted this exact same Bible verse in the post I wrote - September 28th. Seeing it again made me realize just how powerful these words are.

    I am thinking of you and your family and keeping you in my prayers.

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  2. Gina, I've noticed that I have to go back to that promise time and time again....as in you might tell your children over and over, yes, I'll take you the fair...but it has to be reinterated day after day and sometimes hour for me. But I always go back to the time and I can still feel that shawl wrap around my shoulders as I prayed by my bed for our daughter...it was just as if a gossamer shawl floated down and rested on my shoulders and I heard the Lord say....I will heal her....I still remember the feeling of relief and love that the Father sent to me a shawl of faith and I still go back to that again and again....Thank you Lord for my shawl of faith that that no one else sees but I feel! I pray for you all and your Ed and your family...I just pray for Ed and God knows which Ed I'm sure.....with love and prayer......Janice


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  3. I am so glad to hear of Ed's progress. I am praying that the MRI will show a dramatic healing that only our gracious God can manifest. Praise our Lord for his great gifts toward us!

    My husband & I were married in Jan. 2011. During our marriage, we have been persecuted for our Christian faith, known hardships & joys. We have health issues also (we're in our early 60's), but through it all our wonderful Lord hss been helping us, supplying us, comforting us, & we have been witnessing to others about Him. God has met our needs, sometimes just in time, & has been ever faithful to His promises. We don't deserve it ... we of little faith at times, worrisome most of the time. But He is always there supplying our needs. The bible verses you quoted above (Mat. 6:25-34) fit our circumstances sometimes a little too perfectly, I'm sorry to say. But we try to be faithful to Him. Stand fast in your faith & love to our Lord! He is always there with all of us through all of life's good & bad times. God bless your family richly!

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  4. Hi Gina,
    Praying and hope that all goes well today. May God bless you all. Praying.
    blessing to you and Ed
    shelley p
    from over the pond

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  5. Joyful in the throes of crisis? It takes more than what I have to be joyful in the dross of changes in normalcy. You have what it takes - your base is communion with our Lord and knowing or allowing Him to orchestrate your day - easier said than done. We married in 2004 and since has been hospital, surgeries, and doctor appointments. My husband has renal carcinoma and it has traveled to too many other places and lodged. Tomorrow we have an appointment at Fox Chase in Philadelphia to determine our next step. I know God has permitted my husband this length of time to touch lives that have been inspired, encouraged, and challenged. I want to give the Lord honor in what He has done and is continuing to accomplish in our walk with Him. No, its not easy. Yes, we have an awesome God who cares and does provide the grace for the moment. It is a process in finding my heart in complete surrender and allowing Him free access to calm my heart when I want to be concerned and fret. Oh, to be joyful. Yes, in my heart and mind. Take courage, sister, God is on your side and He will give you the desires of your heart. You are in my prayers.

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  6. Change 'take no thought' for 'worry' and that's how I see it. Basically, do the Work, b/c God's got this. :)

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  7. In case that wasn't clear, the Work is His work. Sharing the Gospel, feeding the hungry, loving your neighbor, ect. 'This' is our own food, clothing, ect. We are to His hands to others, basically.

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  8. Isaiah 41:10New Living Translation (NLT)

    10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

    A friend of mine gave me a devotional for Christmas last year. The devotional has a memory verse for every month. I am not good at memorizing verses but before I opened the book I determined to memorize the verse. Then I read the verse. It was so easy for me to memorize it. I marveled at how God granted me that ability. I repeated this verse many times a day through the month of January. My husband passed on Feb. 1, 2017. God always knows what we need and when we need it. I believe He literally was my shield during this time. He stood in front of me and deflected all that I could not bear and only allowed what I could to pass through to me and He will do the same for you, sister. God loves you and I know from reading your posts for years that you love Him. I continue to pray for you and your family. God bless.

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  9. Gina, you and Ed are on my mind a lot today already. So many things going through my mind as I lift you up to the Father. Praying for good news but most of all, peace. ~Rachel

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  10. I recall trying to find my way as a Christian, and in a time of trouble, I cried out to the Lord "How exactly am I supposed to seek You first? How do I DO that?? " I asked God to show me the way. I was snowbound in a cabin in Montana at the time. It occurred to me that I needed mentors to help me dig deep into the Word of God. I said "Ok God, here I go, it's up to You to be You!" I pulled on snow boots and headed out into the deep snow, to try and find a women's Bible study I had heard about. I didn't know where our host lived. I got to the snow covered road and to my surprise a red pickup truck was 'fish tailing' it down the mountain toward me. To my GREAT surprise a lady hollered out the window at me 'where are you going on foot in all this snow?" I told her I was trying to make it to a Bible study in town that I'd heard about" She said "Get in, that's where I'm going, we'll go together" We fished tailed it all the way down the icy mountain, and finally reached sanded roads and pulled up right at the door of the Bible study, that changed my life, showed me God is God, a God of miracles who hears our cries and loves us, each and every one.
    Today is Monday and Im holding Ed and family up in prayer to our awesome God who hears us when we turn to him.

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  11. God healed my husband of colon cancer.....so I am sending prayers of strength and healing. Thanks for sharing your family with us. I have learned so much from you. You are a wonderful example to us.

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  12. I, too, have been meditating on the passage about seeking first God's Kingdom for the past month. Though my circumstances are not nearly as serious as yours, I too often find myself failing to trust God and His Providence. One of the things that I have been meditating on is The Parables of the kingdom of God. In a class I took for teaching children, I learned that the kingdom Parables have several things in common. First, they start with something that is either small or hidden, such as a mustard seed, or a treasure. The second thing I've learned is that it always takes work to find it, such as kneading dough or digging something up. Third, finding the kingdom often take sacrifice, as in The Man Who Sold all that he had to purchase the pearl of great price. I confess I don't know how all these factors play out together, but I hope this gives you some sort of encouragement.

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  13. Continuing to pray for you, Ed, your family, and the amazing medical team that is giving wisdom for this journey! Reminded once again that God is faithful...always, and your lives are a testimony to His goodness. Love you, dear friend! <3

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  14. It means that as we walk through anything whether it be joyful times or times of suffering, we walk in faith and trust that God knows what is the best. He loves us beyond what we can imagine. As we also wait for the next MRI for the brain tumor that our son Ambrose has, I choose every morning to trust God. That doesn't take away the pain of the situation, but I know that it is under God's control. And He gives us the strength each day and many opportunities to share with others the testimony of His goodness.
    With much Love,
    Sandy

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  15. Gina, I'm praying for you and Ed!

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  16. Your words about the greatness and goodness of God reminded me of this poem by Sidney Lanier:
    As the marsh-hen secretly builds on the watery sod,
    Behold I will build me a nest on the greatness of God;
    I will fly in the greatness of god as the marsh-hen flies
    In the freedom that fills all space 'twixt the earth and the skies:
    By so many roots the marsh-grass sends in the sold
    I will heartily lay me ahold on the greatness of God.

    May God sustain you and your family with grace, peace and healing.

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  17. I have always been a "hands on" learner. I know the words. I've heard and read them thousands of times. I truly believe them. What works for me is to step outside..look around, and listen. Gods mercies abound if we only look. And wow, if we read and look..we can be truly amazed! I guess years of being a farmers granddaughter, daughter, and now wife has led me to this point. I pray for good test results today!!

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  18. When I'm overwhelmed with fear and worry, I like to think about God's name.... I AM. Those two words have brought me great comfort and rest. We serve the same God that met Moses in the bush. Praying you can rest in knowing that God will never change.

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  19. Gina,
    I've been praying for Ed, you and your family since I read of his diagnosis. As someone who deals with anxiety on a daily basis, I can tell you this: Remember that God will not give you more than you can handle. Tell yourself "I can handle this.". Breathe. I have found that breathing in for a count of 5, holding my breath for a count of 5 and exhaling for a count of 5 helps calm me and remind me of God's presence. I pray that peace be with you and your family and I pray for healing for Ed's body and your worry.

    Sincerely,
    Whitney Rice

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  20. Just saying a prayer now

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  21. Dear Gina, as I am praying for you and your family I am remembering how many times I have had to go to God with anxiety I could not handle. Several years ago I read a book called, "Spiritual Depression" by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The title is misleading, it is more about how to live with the struggles of life joyfully and confidently. Not that I am able to do that, but I have grown in my faith and understanding so much since I read that book. He has been dead a long time but he was at one time a famous physician and Christian. He was called, "the doctor of the soul." His wisdom comes from God and from helping sick or suffering people all his life. The book is wonderful.

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  22. Can you update us on how Ed's appointment went??

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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