“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:13-14)
Our friend Wendy is a billboard.
At this very moment, her attitude and demeanor are advertisements for God’s powerful presence in the life of a woman whose heart is surrendered to him. Her recent cropped hairstyle matches her bright smile, her laughter is genuine and contagious. Though cancer has moved into her brain as an unwelcomed intruder, she has made it clear that she will fight its occupancy with absolute determination. Wendy’s conviction that God is good, and that he is in control regardless of what the next few months force upon her, are also absolutely grounded in her belief in the perfect character and competency of God.
It is evident to anyone who gets within six feet of her that the “joy of the Lord is [her] strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Wendy’s resilience is harnessed from years of trusting Jesus and finding him sufficient for every step and hurdle and challenge. Our friend desires Jesus to be honored through her daily response to what he allows. Those of us walking alongside see a woman fully convinced that God will carry her through, be enough, and bring his great good from all these “not-so-good” present realities.
As followers of Christ we long for his Word to come alive, to catch him at work in our days, to recognize his brilliant hand moving in our everyday world. And then he shows up to do just that in the life of a lady we love dearly, and our first reaction is, “No! Let this go away!” Wendy is showing us God’s dazzling color, through his incredible palette where purple and plum are now center stage. We are watching, but not from the sidelines. Together as a community of believers we are encircling her with love, wrestling with her prayer, and pleading with God for mercy on her behalf. Simultaneously, we are thanking God that we get to witness his power, the kind of power “made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
“For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy” (Psalm 27:5-6).
Elizabeth A Mitchell
Photo Credit: Aaron Burden