“There is a boy here, who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” (John 6:9)
“One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 27: 4)
This reflection would have been much different if I had written it just a few weeks earlier. Two weeks ago Karen and I heard these words from my doctor: “There is no doubt — it is cancer!” Those few words changed our lives in many ways, and we know the changes have only begun. I meet my oncologist for the first time in two days, hopefully a plan of treatment will be available, and we will travel down that pathway. Whatever lies ahead will be an uncharted journey for us, but one that many have traveled before us. God’s presence on that journey has been requested and expected!
One thing that has totally overwhelmed me is the amount of prayers, encouragement and good wishes generated in support of me and my family from so many people. I have always believed in the goodness of God’s people, but I am in awe of how great that goodness really is. The story told by John of how Jesus fed so many with so little was indeed a miracle. I feel that the outpouring of love and concern for our family is no less a miracle. I have done nothing to deserve this, but still God touches the hearts of so many to share His love for us through them! A few weeks ago this never would have occurred to me!
I think it’s probably common for a Christian to seek the Lord, as the refrain in Psalm 27 reminds us. My prayers in the past would include an invitation to the Lord to enter my life and guide me along the pathway. The intensity of that request has been heightened in the last few weeks! The physical and emotional pains have made me better understand just how weak and insignificant I am. I have come to realize that the physical pain made me acknowledge the need for God the Healer to a degree I had never imagined before! I have come to realize that the emotional suffering made me acknowledge how much I needed God the Comforter! I am so thankful that my God is loving and understanding because my current prayers are now almost a demand that He stay with me and share His strength with me as each new day unfolds. I now see God more clearly than ever before as I seek to dwell with Him. Where do I see Him? In those closest to me — in those who pat me on the back — in those who pray for me. That’s where God is. A few weeks ago this never would have occurred to me! Praise God!