I sent this to my mom last week and it's really hitting home with me today. It is written by Matt Chandler's wife, whose husband was diagnosed with brain cancer.
The gardener's sharp-edged knife promotes the fruitfulness of the tree, by thinning the clusters, and by cutting off superfluous shoots. So is it, Christian, with that pruning which the Lord gives to thee. ~ C.H. Spurgeon
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit." John 15:1 - 2
As Matt's fourth (? I've lost count!) post-surgery MRI is only hours away, I've been hit with a curve-ball of anxiety. Until now, I've gone into each scan, appointment, or meeting with little fear. I'm not sure what's different this time aside from two things:
1. With the exception of the first MRI (in the ER after his seizure) and diagnosis, we've gotten nothing but good, hopeful news. I am so grateful for this and am asking and wanting to believe Matt's complete healing. However, it's as if there is a part of me that is waiting for the other shoe to drop. There's a little whisper saying, it really is too good to be true.
2. The Lord is wanting to expose the lie, however small, that I am believing. Let me tell you what the lie is NOT first. The lie is*not*: God will not heal Matt. I believe the Lord can and will heal Matt but even if He doesn't heal him on earth, he will be perfectly healed in heaven.
*The lie is this: God is not good and He does not want my good.*
This is the lie that tripped up Eve in the garden. This is the lie that has plagued humankind ever since. This is the lie the Father exposed through His Son on the cross. "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay his life down for his friends." How can we not see through this lie? "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will he not also with Him graciously give us all things?" So, the Lord reveals the lie that a small part of me still believes. He uses the anxiety to remind me to be rooted in Him and His truth: if He is for me, what can be against me? He prunes the branches. He gets rid of the "superfluous shoot."