“We as a family are saddened, but also at peace knowing that God is in control.”
I read over those words in a message from my cousin Scott today. His mother, my Aunt Lyla, was just diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic and liver cancer. My heart is heavy because I love Lyla. She shines Jesus.
As I thought about writing something about this very difficult news on my mom’s side of the family, the word from this sentence of Scott’s message that has stayed in my head, amazingly, is “but”. This tiny, little three letter word.
It is the word that seemingly connects heaven and earth right now.
We as a family are saddened, BUT…
Not everyone says this little word when there is a cancer diagnosis. Only God makes this word possible. Only God.
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body….” Philippians 3:20
My Aunt Lyla. “She’s an amazing example of God’s peace and comfort. She’s confident in her faith and knows life doesn’t end here,” Scott says of his mother. That’s because she knows she is a victor, no matter what!
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57
I love you, Aunt Lyla. You are an example of Christ to me and countless people who love you. You may have been given a diagnosis, but you are a victor, conqueror, dearly loved by God, redeemed, precious. You are in the palm of His hand, just as you have always been.
I learn from observing people. Some of those people enlighten me and cause me to grow. I seek to be more like them because they inspire me. My close friend Rebecca is just that type of person. She is wise and funny and has a non-cutting sarcastic way about her. She is unique and I love to be around her. One of the numerous things that I have noticed about her over the years is the way she greets people, all people. She names the person by name and emphasizes that name with the slightest bit of a song to her voice. “Hi SuSIE!” with a big smile and a friendly laugh. People usually put the emphasis on the “HI” part. It may seem like such a small detail, but it is major in my mind. I think that most people don’t notice the way she says it, but they know how she makes them feel. They feel valued, loved, greeted warmly, called by name with enthusiasm. I want to be like that. I want people to know that I remember their names and that I care when I see them.
God’s Word says that Jesus calls us by name. I imagine in my mind, my Savior, calling me by name with His hand outstretched. It warms my heart to the core. It also sometimes gives me pause because there are SO many people in this world and I am just one. Does He really care to call me “Susie”, reach out His hand to me, and with laughter and a trace of a song in His voice, beckon me to come along with Him?
Say it again, Suz.
Isaiah 45:3 “I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”
Let Him call you by name. No walls. Just let Him.
What’s in a name? Much. If you go to http://www.biblegateway.com and search for the word “name” in Scripture, you will have close to 950 verses that mention that word. The Bible speaks much about the almighty name of God. It also speaks a lot about our names, their meanings, where they are written.
My name is written on His heart. I am His beloved. My name is written in His book of life. It gives me peace.
May His Name be honored and glorified in my life. May I reach out to others speaking their names with light and life in my voice.
– Susie Stewart
John 20:31 “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
Revelation 3:12 “The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.”
Psalm 86:11 “Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”
Jeremiah 15:16 “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty.”
Revelation 20:15 “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”