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Categorized | From the Pulpit

Why is this happening?

Hillcrest-Church-picPastor Kristi J. Rhodes

Hillcrest Community Church

5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude is more important than facts. It’s more important than the past, education, money, circumstances, failures, successes, or what other people think or say or do. It’s more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It’ll make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we’ll embrace for that day. We cannot change our past or the fact that people will act in a certain way. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude I’m convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.” 

~Charles R. Swindoll

Just a few months ago, our youngest son, Branden, 27, was diagnosed with a very aggressive, rare form of lymphoma requiring aggressive chemotherapy treatment. A mass the size of a softball invaded his chest pressing on vital organs. His wife was due to deliver their second child almost any day when they got the news. Treatment began immediately. The day before he was to be admitted at Butterworth for his first 5 day round of chemo, his wife was admitted at the same hospital resulting in emergency C-section, giving birth to their daughter. A few hours later, Branden went downstairs to begin treatment for cancer.

Since this journey began (early February), Branden has undergone three surgeries,  a collapsed lung, emergency bedside chest tube insertion, a viral infection, a very serious bacterial infection, as well as being separated from his family every three weeks for a week at a time.

I know there are people who are worse off. That’s not my point. Here’s my point. Long before the first diagnosis, Branden has and continues to praise God. He says this is just a miracle waiting to happen. If anyone has the right to ask, “Why is this happening?” he does. However that question has never crossed his mind. Instead, his question is, “How can I bring glory to God through what is happening?”

He knows God has the power to heal him instantaneously, but says, “If God will be glorified more by me going through this journey, then I’m willing to walk through whatever He needs me to for His Glory!” God’s goodness doesn’t change because our circumstances have.  As people visit him in the hospital, they continually share that they went to bless and minister to him, but instead, he blessed and ministered to them. As this journey continues, so does his peace and trust in God. Whatever the outcome, he wins!

One of his favorite verses for strength is Joshua 1:9 (NIV): Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Whatever you’re facing, remember:  Peace is found in the ability to see God’s presence, perceive God’s power, and focus on God’s plan in spite of the obstacles.

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