I learned a valuable lesson this week.
“The battle has not yet begun if the enemy has not yet been engaged.”
It’s easy to have faith against a yet-engaged enemy … actually that is probably not so much faith as simply confidence … or maybe even just plain old optimism.
While we had known about the cancer for over six weeks, the time had been spent wisely and carefully evaluating the enemy’s progress and entrenched positions along with preparing a battle plan for our first day of resistance with an ultimate goal of totally annihilating the enemy!
Our resistance / invasion began on Monday September 26, 2011 with Day One of my chemotherapy treatments … let the battle begin!
It wasn’t the easiest first week … but it certainly could have been so much more worse. Jesus was faithful and He surrounded we with an army of prayer warriors, care givers and angels … and a wife unwilling to accept defeat!
Chemotherapy is a powerful agent of destruction against cancer cells … unfortunately there are some healthy cells with many of the same characteristics that will also suffer from the treatment … a kind of ‘friendly fire’ consequence.
In looking for scriptural encouragement this morning for the battle ahead, I was drawn to Paul’s letters to Timothy and some advice he offered:
But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:11-12 (ESV)
Know what steadfastness means? Neither did I …
steadfastness: loyalty in the face of of trouble and difficulty, steadfast resolution … which then pushed me to understand the word resolute …
resolute: firm in purpose or belief, characterized by firmness and determination
Yes, I think I learned this week that my steadfastness and resolution are lacking … turn that potter’s wheel Lord … turn it and let me be molded and fired according to your will so that one day I might be able to say, just as our brother Paul …
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 (ESV)
Yes Lord! Yes Lord! Yes Lord!