Made for More
Have you ever looked upon someone else’s struggles and thought you could never bare that burden as well as they are? Illness. Financial struggles. Death. That’s how I felt about pretty much any struggle once upon a time. Too many worry-filled headaches filled my early days. On my own I am weak, timid and insufficient to face the scary things of this world. Today, however, I walk in Jesus’ strength. Eight years ago, today, I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and started a journey towards healing that went much deeper than ridding my body of cancer cells. How did this weak, timid girl find the strength to fight cancer you ask? The answer is found in this week’s key verse:
“I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
If Jesus is the vine and I am a branch, that means He bears the weight of the burden, right? The vine is the source of life from the branches. The branch is dependent on the vine. This is so true for our relationship with Jesus. If we hold tight to Jesus, depending on Him as our source of life and strength, we can persevere. If the branch is cut off from the vine, it will wither and die.
Prior to cancer, I had a problem with worry. I also had a problem with needing to figure everything out on my own. Having a plan. Knowing how everything was going to work out. The great gift of my cancer was stepping away from all of that to realize a closer relationship with Jesus. In the midst of the darkest time of my life, Jesus taught me about abiding in Him through prayer. He taught me how to draw closer to Him through scripture. He showed me how to trust Him by watching Him work in even the smallest of details. These are no small lessons to learn!
The most significant thing I learned from my cancer experience was realizing I have no strength, no wisdom, no effectiveness outside my relationship with Jesus. But I don’t have to because abiding in His love, His grace and His presence fuels me with His power. And it’s His power in me that allows me the grace to face this world and all its struggles with faith, hope and love.
The moment we walk into a struggle, we become survivors. But we don’t have to just survive our struggles. Abiding in Jesus, we are made to thrive!!