by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2014
The Lord is my Shepherd. All my life He is with me. I am journeying home and He is leading. The diagnosis of cancer almost two weeks ago does not define or change who I am. It simply is one more step in the journey. These are valleys through the shadow of death where we need fear no evil for our Lord is with us, guiding and directing us, never leaving or forsaking us, always ensuring we have all that we need.
None of us know the various valleys through which He will lead us as we journey through this imperfect world home for it is a place of problems, obstacles, difficulties, suffering and injustice. It was the same for Jesus. Here is not heaven, nor was it meant to be. This is not our God-intended home. We are journeying through it. This new place is but one more step and He will, will, will use even this for great eternal good, whether I can fathom it or even see it or not.
Contemplating the Way of Jesus and the Way of our God with us during this physical aspect of our existence, it is clear from God’s message to us in Matthew 6 and Luke 12 that there will be troubles. And yet, we are not to worry. We are to know, understand in the truth that God Himself will provide for us all that we need wherever we are until the day He calls us home to Him in eternity. This does not mean it will be easy. Every generation has experienced hardship, drought, famine, illness, battles and ultimately death. It does mean He will be there to get us through them. The conclusion which He caused me to draw from this years ago is that even in our illness (and other difficulties), perhaps especially in these, they are not just what is being done to us, they are places where God will take what the enemy intends for evil and use it for great good. In other words, wherever life takes us, we are on God-assignment. We are lamps carrying His Light into the dark places. We are ambassadors called to re-present Him as we allow the free-flow of His Spirit through us in foreign places where we are not necessarily comfortable. (These are places where we would not choose to be if left to ourselves.)
For years as I have prayed for others on a journey into the harder, darker places, I have prayed God would use them for great good, that they would recognize if they can chose to trust Him and so walk in His peace, they may be the only glimpse of His Light of truth, love, and beauty which others see in that place on that day. Everything that happens to us, contains an assignment from God to be a representative of His kingdom as we walk out this assignment filled with the knowledge of Him which comes from time spent in His presence in worship, prayer and study of the Word of God and in stillness, letting Him talk with us about what is important to Him, letting Him teach us about Himself as we quiet our minds and consider our surroundings with His eyes.
This is my mission as well. I embrace it. Lord, not my will but Yours. Wherever You can use me in Your perfect will, that is the place I am willing to go. It is not sacrifice. It is joy—even if it is not to a preferred place. I can say this because of the many years already spent walking where He leads. I know there is always such beauty, majesty and surprise in what He will bring to pass. It is not always fun. It is not necessarily without pain. But when seen from His eternal, all-loving, all-rescuing perspective, it is always way beyond anything I can imagine.
And so, though this newest aspect of life’s journey was not only my list of desired life experiences, I know God has great plans through it. I am not in a hurry to be done here and now because I love being His ambassador! I do desire to be healed here on earth, not just for heaven. But my focus is not and cannot be the what-if’s which can unsettle and steal this moment’s joy. My eyes are on my Savior, listening to and waiting for His next word, so that by the gentle leading and power of the Holy Spirit, I might follow Him in this next step on this journey home, which by definition contain His blessing and continue to usher in His comfort, peace, joy and healing for others both now and for eternity.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. ~ PSALM 23
God bless you!NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold. This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time. http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com www.eaglesnestfoundation.org
Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist. She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way.
For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.
Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss. For information email email@example.com or visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org