|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Stay strong”
Our Bible verse for today: “Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Stay spiritually strong”
Recently I had a serious health scare. During my annual physical, lab results came back with blood markers indicating I could have a treatable but incurable form of cancer. Further testing by my primary care physician seemed to confirm it. He said I needed to see an oncologist. Unfortunately, there was a three-week delay between the time I was referred to the oncologist until I actually got to see him. Three weeks is a long time to spend inside your head dealing with what-ifs and unknowns about a potentially life-threatening disease.
My entire adult life I have made it a point to stay healthy and physically fit, and I was glad that I did. At least I would be going into this healthy and strong. But as helpful as that might be, I knew it would be even more important to be spiritually strong. If the test results were accurate, spiritual strength was going to be my greatest asset. I was going to have to lean hard on God. And I did. During those three weeks I prayed more than usual, I recited a lot of Scripture, and I determined to trust the Lord. I was still concerned, but I also had a sense of peace about it. Regardless of how this went, God would be with me through it (Joshua 1:9).
As it turned out, more detailed testing by the oncologist revealed better news than I was expecting. He said that the majority of people who come to him with those markers in their blood do in fact have bone marrow cancer. But he also said that every once-in-a-while he gets a patient (like me), who has the markers but not the cancer. It’s a pre-cancerous condition in the bone marrow. He said that some of those people have ultimately progressed to the cancer itself, but many have not. He feels that the odds are in my favor. So now I simply have to repeat the labs every six months and be monitored for the condition.
I’m grateful to the Lord for the reprieve, but I’m also grateful for the lesson this reinforced for me. Spiritual strength is our greatest asset. That’s true at all times, but it’s especially true when we’re faced with an actual or potential crisis. It has been rightly said that the most debilitating form of weakness is not physical weakness but spiritual weakness, and the greatest form of strength is spiritual strength not physical strength. That is without question true.
I encourage all of us to take good care of ourselves. Stay as physically strong as you can for as long as you can. But much more important than that is to do the things necessary to stay spiritually strong. We need to stay strong so we’re ready to face the trials that life will ultimately bring to all of us.
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