Grace Upon Grace Upon Grace

Here is a Messianic worship song written and sung by Sheli Myers (Arie's daughter) Beresheet "In the Beginning".  Please go check it out and read the lyrics on the link!  It is truly beautiful, and inspired some of this post.

Thankful.  There is always so much to be thankful for, but today I am overwhelmed by the grace upon grace God has shed on my family.  I have always believed in miracles.  I have never doubted the miracles in the Bible.  I rarely doubted the reality and ability of God to perform miracles today, though He often does not work miracles in the same way He did when His Son came as my Savior, Jesus Christ.  No, His miracles usually come in different forms.. forms in which we as society does not typically consider true miracles.  Today, however, He did.

As I said, I have always believed in miracles.  And ever since I can remember, I have always asked God to show me a true miracle.  Not that my faith was dependent on my request, but I knew I believed He could and would if He pleased.  I honestly don't even know why I made such a request - I didn't have a certain plea in mind.  I guess I just thought it would be kinda cool to witness such a thing.

In the past few months, my faith has been tested with ending an engagement, an unsuccessful job-hunt, that post-graduation depression everyone typically struggles with because all your friends are scattered about, and having absolutely no direction on what city to live in or job to look for.  I thought it couldn't get much worse.  Well it did.  About a month ago, my mother was diagnosed with a very aggressive type of breast cancer.  That was it.  I was angry.  I was especially angry with the Lord.  I was becoming bitter and verging on the "I'm done, I just can't handle all this" phase.  Okay, maybe I was at that point.  Regardless, I seriously felt as if I had lost all hope in any good, any grace or blessing in His will for me.  I was stuck in my own selfishness, struggling on the see-saw of self-righteousness and self-pity, to the point where I was completely blinded to the hope of what the Lord could and would bring from all this suffering.

A couple of days after my mom's diagnosis, she and I found ourselves purchasing two tickets for a flight to Israel that would leave in four days.  We had a few random friends who had planned this trip and had previously turned down the offer to go.  Spontaneity at its finest, we took off on such a life-changing, awe-inspiring trip neither one of us could've expected.  The Lord used Arie (our teacher/guide) to open our eyes to so many hidden treasures from the Bible and the land of Israel, it was unreal!  We really had no idea what we had been expecting, but it wasn't nearly as good as what we experienced.  On our fourth day, we went to the Pools of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the crippled man [John 5:1-8].  While we were there, Arie and our close friend, Howard Porter, led our group of nine in prayer over me and my mom.  Each person prayed over us, for comfort in our sufferings, for healing both emotionally and physically, for our faith to be strengthened through our current trials, and finally, for a miracle over my mom's cancer.  In the background there was a church group singing "How Great Thou Art".  In the midst of the tourism and chaos around us, all I could hear were the tearful prayers with the echo of song and birds chirping in the background.  In the midst of the pain and chaos in my heart, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace.  I literally felt God's hand on me.  The warmth of a physical embrace of God had never felt so real.  I don't even know how to put it in words to help you understand.  Really you can't unless you've experienced it.  But I knew God was up to something.  I knew then that through all this suffering His plan was still perfect, no matter what His will was.

When we got back to the States, Mom had her PET scan and a few other tests.  The results showed a clear PET scan.  I, fully expecting God to have performed another miracle of healing at the Pools of Bethesda, thought this to be of no coincidence.  The oncologist couldn't explain the results except that the radiologist probably just didn't mention the tumor in the breast because we already knew it was there, but just used the report to tell us that it had not spread throughout her body.  Mom had surgery that next week.  In surgery, the doctors reported that her sentinel lymph nodes were negative for cancer.  And more good news continued to follow.  Every step since our return from Israel seemed to bring the blessing of healing.  I kept calling each new bit of news a miracle.. it was good enough and big enough for me that the cancer hadn't spread.

In our first meeting with the oncologist (before Israel), he made it very clear mom would absolutely have to undergo an intense round of chemotherapy after surgery.  However, today when we met with him, he started going over her final pathology report from the surgery and gave us news that would shock anyone.  He sat us down and told us that my mom does not have to have intensive chemo!  The report showed that the aggressive, invasive form of cancer (the kind that spreads) previously reported was basically not even there.  It was much smaller than 1.95 millimeters!  Before, it was (or thought to have been) at the very smallest, 4 millimeters.  The doctor himself said that he had never seen anything like this before, that an angel was watching over her.  We know who that angel is.  The Angel of the LORD healed my mom, and chose to do so quickly and miraculously!

God gave me a miracle; the miracle of a quick healing over my mother.  He does not always choose to work in this way, nor does He have to.  He constantly gives grace upon grace upon grace in other ways.  To me, Creation itself is a miracle; moreover, the intrinsic details of our eyes to see that magnificent Creation is beyond a miracle.  But because I am more sinful than I dare imagine, and although my eyes are not yet fully opened to how holy my Father truly is, He continues to give me grace upon grace upon grace to show me a little bit more of His majesty and love each day.  And today, He chose to do so with a miracle.

"If you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea', and it will be done." Matthew 21:21
The Pools of Bethesda
Jerusalem, Israel 2013

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