You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You! Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock. — Isaiah 26:3-4 NLT
After my second dose of chemotherapy, I noticed my brain getting fuzzy. I’d always been able to think through things logically, but now I couldn’t focus on anything for long. Simple arithmetic befuddled me; the numbers just wouldn’t line up. My brain cleared after a few days, but it didn’t return to its former sharpness until well after my treatments were over.
I felt betrayed by my brain. I’d already lost my health. Was even my ability to think clearly being taken away from me? That’s when something Elisabeth Elliot wrote in A Path Through Suffering leapt off the page at me:
“Open hands should characterize the soul’s attitude toward God — open to receive what He wants to give, open to give back what He wants to take.”1
Are my hands open? I thought. Or are they holding on to the way I want my life to be going? So I lifted my clenched fists to God and one by one peeled back the fingers until my palms lay open before Him.
Father God, this cancer path has resulted in so many losses. Now I even seem to be losing my ability to think. I’m scared, Lord. I need Your peace. You’ve promised Your peace to those who trust in You. I want your way, Lord, for I know that You love me and have a plan for my life that is far better than anything I could think up for myself. I choose to trust You, for You, Lord God, are the eternal Rock.
Thank You for loving me enough to die for me. Now I want to die to my preconceived notions of what my life should be like. I choose to follow You wherever You lead me, even if it means the loss of things and abilities I hold dear. I don’t want to trust in those abilities, Lord; I want to trust in You. Help me to see those abilities as gifts from You in the first place.
I lift my hands up to You with open palms — they are empty of my plans and are ready to receive Yours. Transform me into the person You want me to be.
~Amy Givler, MD Author, Hope in the Face of Cancer: A Survival Guide for the Journey You Did Not Choose
Today’s Tip: Lift your clenched fists to God. Then slowly open your hands and tell Him you’re ready to let go and ready for Him to fill them.
Prayer reference: Isaiah 26:3-4
- Elisabeth Elliot, A Path Through Suffering: Discovering the Relationship Between God’s Mercy and Our Pain (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Servant, 1990), 69.
Excerpted with permission from Praying Through Cancer by Susan Sorensen and Laura Geist, copyright Susan Sorensen and Laura Geist.
* * *
Peace through our struggles, especially trials as big as cancer, is a supernatural gift from Jesus. Fear, loss, trauma, pain, anxiety about what the future holds… only God’s peace is big enough to cover that… and it does when we rest in Him. Ask Him today to help you unclench your fists in your fear. Let go and give Him what you’re holding onto. He’s with you. Come share your thoughts with us. We’d love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily