My Resplendent Bride’s arch nemesis returned this weekend: mouth sores. Chemo can cause any number of sores to develop along the digestive tract, from top to bottom. This is because chemo indiscriminately kills all fast growing cells in the human body from cancer cells to hair cells. The cells in one’s mouth are also fast growing cells. One nurse used the example of burning one’s mouth on hot food or coffee. The burn hurts like unrequited love, but is soon nothing more than a mere memory within days. This is because the cells in your mouth replace themselves quickly. Chemo throws a monkey wrench into all of these mundane bodily processes most of us take for granted: hence mouth sores.
Throughout my Resplendent Bride’s fight with Lymphoma and Leukemia mouth sores have been one of the more sinister enemies. They hurt all the time and make eating a dread task. Low energy and weight loss follow.
What is the Christian to do when an old foe rears its ugly head once more for another skirmish?
What ever shall the Christian do when arms, and legs, and will are already Jello, yet the beast still rises?
Trust in God.
Make no mistake; I have no desire to use the imperative to “trust in God” to bludgeon you. Bludgeon Old Scratch with trust in God.
One of the more poignant portions of the Bible occurs as our Lord Jesus is hanging upon the cross for the sins of the world.
Matthew 27:39-44 (NASB)
At that time two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left.
And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads
and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself ! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying,
“He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel ; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him.
“HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ “
The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words.
Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour.
Oh, the heart rending yet familiar irony of it all. The very people The Lord Jesus was dying for are mocking Him for dying for them.
It happens every day.
Specifically, they were mocking His trust in His Father. For, it was His trust in His Father’s plan of redemption that kept Him upon the cross. He emphatically believed His Father’s promise that His suffering would bring many sons to glory (Hebrews 2:10).
The Lord Jesus trusted His Father’s sovereign plan: should the Lord Jesus be lifted from the Earth, He would draw all men to Himself (John 12:27-33 NASB).
“Now My soul has become troubled ; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I came to this hour.
“Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven : “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered ; others were saying, “An angel has spoken to Him.”
Jesus answered and said, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes.
“Now judgment is upon this world: now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”
But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.
We would be wise to remember that the enemy comes knocking when we are weak. It was when The Lord Jesus was hungry and alone that the tempter came for Him.
Matthew 4:3-4 (NASB)
And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’
If you, or your loved one is suffering from cancer it is possible that they will at some point feel both isolated and hungry. The battle against cancer can often feel rather dragged out.
While I am no expert on what goes through the mind of the enemy; such conditions would seem to be an ideal time to sow doubt, tares, and a root of bitterness or two (Hebrews 12:15).
In these last days (Hebrews 1:2), as in all days, we scrappy saints are ever-needy paupers before our Crucified Carpenter King.
He will not turn you away.
We do not have faith in our faith. We have faith in God’s good gift of saving faith to us (Ephesians 2:8-10). We have faith in the giver God. We do not despise the gift of faith, nor do we mock trust in God’s promises. We entrust our sufferings to the shepherd of our souls because He has big hands (John 10:27-30).
Scrappy Saints find solace in our Crucified Carpenter King’s many gifts such as: His Word, His Church, His baptism & supper, as well as His indwelling Spirit. Scrappy Saints stand upon the Scrappy Mercies of God. Here are two texts to find solace in.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. ~ James 4:7 (NASB)
And let us not forget,
Mark 9:23-24 (NASB)
And Jesus said to him, ” ‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe ; help my unbelief.”
Make no mistake; I have no desire to use the imperative to “trust in God” to bludgeon God’s weary Church: Bludgeon Old Scratch with trust in God.