Just before I opened my eyes I wished it was all a dream. I hoped the last 24 hours hadn’t happened. Despite my best efforts to wish it all away, the harsh reality was that Diagnosis Day did happen and I needed to face that. My dad had cancer. Sadness was what I felt but I knew it was a feeling that I needed to give to God. I knew God could exchange that sadness for hope and He could lighten my heavy heart. I’d experienced it before so I knew I could trust Him. Whilst talking to Mel and unloading my feelings, he said something that made me think. ‘Sadness is a place we all visit but you don’t have to live there.’ That’s so true I thought. If I lived there all it would do is depress me further and immobilize me. I needed to live in the hope that God gives me. So that morning I decided I was going to call my dad, hold back the tears and speak life and hope into this situation. Before we talked I texted him the verse from Isaiah 43 again
‘ hey dad this is a promise from God you need to hold on to….
1 But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.‘
As me and dad spoke he told me something that totally amazed me. He told me that the night before’ diagnosis day’ he couldn’t sleep. So he got up and read his bible. He said he literally just opened his bible and it fell onto the story in Daniel about the three men in the fiery furnace. A king had ordered that these men be thrown into a fire because they refused to worship him or his gods . The King was so angry with these men that he ordered that the furnace be heated up seven times hotter than usual!!! That was HOT!!!! The three men amazingly and miraculously walked around in the fire and were unharmed, no single burn on their bodies. They walked out of the fire completely untouched by it all.
Here was my dad totally unaware that the next day he’d be facing a fire of his own, reading a story about three men who were miraculously protected by their God.
Some might call that a coincidence. I don’t. Could it be that God, the Beginning and the End, the one who knows everything before it even happens, loved my dad so much that He would want to prepare him for what lay ahead? Could it be that He wanted to speak with him, and reassure him that no flames could touch him? And then for me to go and say the same words to him today!!! Wow well that just blew me away.
When you call on God and you do it in truth, He really is so near to us. So near that you can hear Him. So near that He’ll repeat himself. So near that He’ll pour His strength into us to make us strong from the inside out.