The road to the cross was far from easy. It was a journey of obedience and submission. It was a journey of great pain and betrayal. But it was never a journey of regret. It was a journey that produced more blessing than anyone could imagine. It was a journey that had to happen. Our Lord knew the victory that was in store for himself and for us. Jesus was committed to the His Father’s will. He was committed to completing His task. He was committed to love- love for the Father and love for us. Yet, He still prayed, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42
Jesus knew what he was about to do was going to be so hard. I don’t think that he was looking for a way out, I think he was looking for another way to fulfill his purpose – another solution.
Submission is about trust. I had to live the trust that I testified about to too many people too many times.
I remember when I received my cancer diagnosis. The plans I had didn’t include the plans I lived. I had gone to the Lord many times in prayer and had wanted a different answer than the one I had received. I had asked the Lord to take this cup from me but also had surrendered myself in trust to what His will was going to be. I cried many tears as I wrestled with what I wanted and hoped that it would be what God had wanted as well. I remember seeking God and listening for his voice. I wanted a clear sign. When God gave his answer, it came were loud and clear. I had many sleepless nights and could not rest without making the decision that was against everything my mind and emotions were thinking or feeling. The minute I said yes to the course I had hoped to avoid, I experienced a peace that cannot be put in to words. I slept like a baby that night.
Submission is about trust. I had to live the trust that I testified about to too many people too many times. Submission is about “willing” obedience. It is about obedience in love. It is not a forced obedience. I loved the Lord and believed that whatever He asked, He would equip me for. He knew what He was doing even though I didn’t like it. There was no way out for me and I too was looking for another solution. Once the decision was made to submit and obey there was no looking back. There was also no regret or complaining. I knew the road ahead of me was going to be long and difficult already- I had no plans of making it harder by adding negativity to it. The joy of the Lord was going to prove to be my strength.
Jesus was going to be my example and strength. I was “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
Now I am not comparing my cancer battle to Jesus dying on the cross but what I am saying is that I knew what the Lord had asked of me and was going to see it through to completion. I knew the effects of chemo and radiation were far from pretty and there was going to be a feeling of shame, embarrassment and ugliness! I knew that I wasn’t going to like what I was certain to experience. I also knew that God was going to make something beautiful with eternal value out of my obedience.
When I began my cancer journey I told the Lord that I wanted to be open to who it was He wanted me to reach through this story He was writing in my life. I did not want this experience wasted. I believed that there was a plan greater than what I could see in front of me. I had no idea how it was going to end but I knew that God had the pen. I was committed to completing this chapter well.
Jesus did know how His chapter was going to be written. He knew the agony he was going to experience yet he went and finished what he came to do because He also knew the victory. He is someone I can submit to and release my trust to even though it comes with fear and ignorance. I don’t know exactly what I am going to have to go through and although I know many times that what the Lord asks of me is going to more difficult that I anticipate, I also know that the victory that I will celebrate is also greater than what I expect.
My submission through cancer is still writing a story that is not complete, however the pages that have been written tell a narrative of joy, spiritual growth, opportunities I would never have imagined and so much more. The Lord has brought to life dreams and gifts I had forgotten I had. I have authored 2 books (more to come 😊…) Written songs that others need to hear (soon…😊). I have helped to lead others to Christ just by my response to God during this season in my life and continue to watch God work in the lives of many people just by me telling my story. Life has come out of what often times brings death.
The Cross was not the end. Jesus had life planned. There are many times that we feel death to our plans means our future is over but God always has a reason for our submission. He always has purpose for our pain. There is always victory beyond what our eyes can see. This Easter may as you look to the Cross may it be a reminder that God is always up to something powerful. Even when it looks like you are walking a road of death may you trust God to bring life. Resurrection Power is His specialty. Trust Him and see.