God is faithful.
I never thought it would happen to me. I was in my twenties, and I was tired all the time and sick, then the diagnosis came—cancer. A few months later, we had a death in the family. Over the course of the next two years, I would have six surgeries for four different medical problems. There would be tears, sleepless nights, physical pain, and emotional exhaustion.
But God is still faithful.
In the days following my cancer diagnosis, I felt overwhelmed and unsure of what the future would hold. I realized that I was faced with a question—did I believe that God is faithful. I could either trust God and believe that He was the Sovereign God of the Bible, or I had to admit that I didn’t really trust God with my life. Not knowing the full scope of my cancer, in the early hours of the morning with just me and God, I had to choose to trust in the sovereignty of God and place my life in His hands.
When I look back over the past few years, I see God’s faithfulness lived out through His word, His promises, and through His church investing sacrificially.
On the day I was diagnosed with cancer, my small group leader left work and came to my house with flowers. She sat with me, talked with me, and prayed with me. Over the next few months, my small group would show up daily to walk my dog, bring me food, take my trash out, and ultimately shower me with the love of Christ. This continued over the next couple of years as people from the body gave of their time, energy, and resources to support me.
I could never write out all of the big and small ways that the people at Brook Hills poured into my life. My family lives out of town, and they were limited in the support they could provide in the day-to-day. However, my church family wrapped around me. Even getting to church—for a couple of months—often meant someone coming to my house, carrying my wheelchair down the stairs from my second-floor apartment, figuring out the puzzle of putting it into their car, and taking me to church. There were times I felt like a burden, but I was reminded of the picture of the church in Scripture and of how Jesus meets us where we are.
Psalm 34 spoke to me and became a passage I meditated on frequently: “I will praise the Lord at all times [emphasis added]; His praise will always be on my lips . . . I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears” (HCSB).
I can seek God. He loves me and cares for me, but no matter what you are going through or where you are, He is good and deserves to be praised.
It is the truth of who God is, what He did for me when He sent His only Son to die on the cross for my sin, and His commands for us as believers that drives me to live my life for His glory. It’s easy to become “me” focused—my situation, my hardship, my valuable time. But then the love of Christ washes over me, and how could I keep that to myself, how could I not give sacrificially to others when Jesus paid the ultimate price for me.
1 Peter 1:3-7 says, “Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
We have a living hope and an inheritance that does not perish with cancer, is not corrupted by the brokenness of this world, does not fade with the loss of a loved one, but rather is kept in heaven for us.
And we rejoice! Not because things are perfect and we don’t suffer. There is great loss that comes with trials, such as my inability to have children, holidays without someone I love, or the chronic pain I face. But we praise God at all times, though we have had to struggle in various trials, so that the genuineness of our faith may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
We invest sacrificially because God is faithful.
Originally from New Orleans, La., Lauren Eddie moved to Birmingham from Jackson, Miss and has been a member at Brook Hills since October 2015. She works as a social worker for Lifeline Children’s Services on the Domestic Adoption team and serves with Birmingham Gospel Outreach.