Shalom? When my Worst Fear Strikes?
Do you believe God wants us to experience a sense of His inner shalom most all the time?
Although I’ve had to wrestle my way through that belief all over again in recent weeks . . .
Our daughter has recently received the dreaded verdict – cancer! An advanced and aggressive form of breast cancer. Even after regular checkups and self-examining, someway, the early stages escaped both her and her doctors.
Until now . . . bam! We’ve all been hit hard with this heavy blow.
For me personally, it’s launched a familiar journey through the minefield of emotions and mind games. The gut wrenching and soul searching path of my cancer experience nearly 30 years ago.
Have I always felt inner perfect peace, harmony, wholeness, flourish in recent weeks?
Have I been seeking to find it again?
- Because God’s Word and His Spirit tell me over and over again, in a multitude of ways, that He wants to give me His deep, abiding inner sense of His shalom. An inner peace that transcends all human understanding and conventional wisdom (Philippians 4:7)
- And also, because I have found that physical health is so closely connected to the wellbeing of my psyche and soul.
- And frankly, it just feels good to joyfully rest in the sweet embrace of His loving gift of unexplainable peace.
I’m not a psychologist nor a professional health care facilitator, but I have heard from those who are. And I’ve experienced for myself that the state of a person’s psyche and soul has a profound impact on their physical wellbeing.
Fear is paralyzing.
Worry is mind numbing.
Anger is gut wrenching.
Depression is deadening.
Grief is heart gripping.
When hit with a heavy blow, we human beings seem to have to cycle our way through the grief journey.
Of fear, denial, sadness, anger, and even some level of depression.
And that’s ok. Yes, it actually seems to be a part of the healing process.
However, when we hit our lowest points along the journey . . .
We find that we have to make some choices.
We have to decide if we will allow ourselves to sink into a victim mentality that ends up becoming a bottomless pit. Or will we choose to put our trust in God’s faithful lovingkindness and tender mercies (Psalm 147:11)? To trust Him enough to follow Him, as He guides our feet into the way of His shalom (Luke 1:79, TLV), toward healing and wholeness.
Our daughter has also found this true in her darkest moments. She said, “But despite all of this, I have felt God’s presence lift me at my lowest points reminding me that He will never leave or forsake me. I just wanted to tell you [family and friends] a big huge thank you! Thank you so much for the prayers, the love, the texts, the cards, oh and the food! The kids love that part;) I have never felt more loved and cherished and I truly treasure that:)”
Often the hands and feet, lips and ears of the family of God become His instruments of shalom to ones trying to find their way through their darkest nights.
In this broken world, we experience . . .
Heartbreak, sickness, financial disasters, and any number of things that would try to crash us to the ground and crush our spirits.
The battle with cancer is a hard fight. Thankfully, there are so many more options for healing now. Sometimes you feel better and have more energy and strength to fight. But at times you feel miserable and weak, and the effort to keep putting one foot in front of the other seems more than you can endure.
And always in the back of your mind is the niggling question, “Am I winning the battle?”
Ultimately, God’s children have hope.
We know that when we pass from this life of pain and suffering, whenever that time comes, we will enjoy complete healing and wholeness.
And even now, along the journey, I’m so grateful that God’s amazing grace comes to us in ways that enable us to ~
Rest! The Lord is near!
Refuse to fear.
Enjoy His love! **
Rest! In the loving embrace of your faithful loving Father’s indescribable shalom!
** This song by Phill McHugh and Greg Nelson, as sung by Steve Green, ministered healing to my soul and psyche when battling cancer nearly 30 years ago. Enjoy if too here. (I receive no remuneration for siting this song.)