“If even one person is drawn to you through this, it will all be worth it.”
I’ve said this phrase to God more than once in the last few years. It started in 2007 when I got sick for a few months. I had strayed for years from the Lord and was trying to find my way back. And I was mad. I was sick and mad and sick and tired of being sick.
I remember this idea clicking as I looked around and realized I was surrounded by people who didn’t know Jesus.
“What if how I handle this tells them something about Jesus? What if someone is different because of it?”
It was a sobering, convicting thought.
Through no job. A bad job. A divorce. A move. My husband’s cancer diagnosis. My cancer diagnosis while pregnant. Chemo. Mastectomy. Nearly losing a business. Now my mother’s cancer diagnosis.
When I woke today, I wasn’t thinking of it. When I woke I was thinking of how I didn’t want my mother to go through surgery in the next few days. On the outside I looked like a tired 41-year-old. Inside I felt like a child throwing a tantrum.
I do not want our family to do any of this.
I cried. My husband prayed. The sun began to shine again.
And then I remembered the thought: “What if we reach someone in the hospital during her surgery? What if how we handle this tells every nurse, doctor, valet something about Jesus? What if someone is different because of it?”
And after all these years, another phrase arrived on the heels of it:
“What if the someone is you?”
This side of heaven, we have the option to go from glory to glory. To draw closer and closer and closer to Him. But, it’s a choice. I can stay where I am — stomping feet and throwing internal fits — or I can truly grab hold of His promises.
Lean into Him.
Accept the present while believing in complete victory.
He tells us that He keeps us in perfect and constant peace. His sure, strong, unmovable hand will hold us near. And we have one job: keep our mind on Him.
Isaiah 26:3 tells us the simple formula:
“You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character],
Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].
Today, wherever you feel shaken, choose to focus on Him. For me, that looks like saying this verse out loud, singing praise music before I feel it.
It looks like drawing close to Him at the cost of everything else.
Amanda Elliott is a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, wife, mom, business owner and Benton resident. She believes we are each “built to battle” by a perfect creator who made us with a capacity for victory, a handbook for success (the Bible) and a spirit who empowers us to live in peace and joy. Follow Amanda Elliott’s “Built to Battle” column at www.mysaline.com/amanda.