Thursday, May 17, 2007

Unconditional Faith

Monday morning I turned on the news. Now to be clear, I don't like the news, I avoid it if I can. But I try to flip through the channels skipping past the news stories until I find the weather. What can I say? The news is depressing. Who wants to know about all of the crime and craziness in this world? Seriously, they graphically report things that I could never dream were possible. We put ratings on movies but the news is often more gruesome than the scariest horror flick. Where was I? Oh right...on Monday, something made me stop on a news story. I saw a teenage boy in a boat saying with a smile "This cancer thing? It's nothing. It's only temporary."

He began building the boat in his woodworking class but had to stop when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. His friends worked round the clock to finish the boat for him. A touching story? Undoubtedly. But what was truly amazing was Ivan's attitude and the honest coverage from KATU. I can honestly say I have never before seen God lifted up on a local news station. This brave teen smiles at the camera with unfailing faith and says "Even if God's will is for me to go, God is the best. He knows what's best for us. But I'm pretty sure that God's gonna do a miracle."

I don't know what God has in store for Ivan but I do know that He has already worked a miracle. He is using Ivan to spread hope. Hope that only comes from Christ.

My new friend Chelsea Rae is another of God's vehicles. She is 13 and her bone cancer has metastasized to several areas. Along with her parents, she has decided to stop treatment. Despite such a monumental decision, her mom says Chelsea's faith is growing everyday. This amazing girl is just looking forward to seeing Jesus.

When times are good, it's easy to be faithful. But true faith is remaining steadfast when times are bad. It's not quite as easy to praise God when your world is turned upside down and the "why's" come streaming out. I heard a great song the other day that describes unconditional faith perfectly:

"Bring the Rain" from MercyMe

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray
Holy, holy, holy

Please pray for Ivan, Chelsea and their families.


Anonymous May 17, 2007 at 10:27 AM  

Wow...awesome lyrics...awesome perspective. Your faith amazes me, as does that of the other cancer moms and kids.

Andrea May 17, 2007 at 2:26 PM  

OH Lori...I watched Lion in the House last year about a month before Maddy was diagnosed. It's about families with cancer. I made all sorts of assumptions about what we would have done if it had happened to us. I never thought it would. The heartrenching decisions we have to make or help our children make are some times impossible. It's amazing how much easier things are when your faith sustains you.

Anonymous May 18, 2007 at 10:43 AM  

Lori.....had read your amazing information regarding the young man with leukemia yesterday. Today, I read in the paper of a young man with leukemia having all his donated items stolen (computer,DVD player, camera, etc.)when he and his mother went to his hospital appointment. Thought this was the about the young man you wrote about, but found out latter that it wasn't. This 12 yr. old is Edward Talbott. How heartrenching to be battling leukemia with no money, but to also have donated items that help Edward be stolen.
As I have said all along, your blog is so powerful as well as informative. With love, Kathy H.

Barb Majors May 20, 2007 at 9:35 PM  

I'm Chelsea Rae's aunt and am so thankful to see the impact she is having on others. We've always known how special she is and it's wonderful that she's reaching others because of her faith. She's an inspiration to all of us.
Thank you for mentioning her!

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