A line from The Hunger Games, the megahit book series turned blockbuster movies, has been rolling around in my brain since I received a stage four ovarian cancer diagnosis.
“May the odds be ever in your favor.”
It’s a ridiculous thing to say to twelve young “tributes” chosen annually and forced to compete in The Hunger Games, an elaborate televised fight to the death. After all, only one would survive.
Only one survivor out of twelve? What kind of favor is that?
Like most people who’ve been given a cancer diagnosis, I did my research on survival rates. You know, what are the odds I will survive ovarian cancer, and how long can I expect to live after treatment?
The truth is, the science shows the odds are NOT “ever in my favor.”
So, as I wrestled with the science, stifling fear grabbed me by the throat and thrust me into a dark pit of anxiety and despair … until I lifted my eyes to where my help comes from (Psalm 121:1-2). Funny thing about being in a pit—you can only go up.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
When I invited God into my fear, His perfect love pushed it out, replacing fear not only with peace but with a powerful scripture and promise.
“Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.”Isaiah 58:8
What an awesome Scripture. But does this mean I will be healed? The science shows it’s highly unlikely. Still, I prayerfully asked, “What are the odds that God is going to heal me from cancer?”
Immediately God’s Spirit caused me to recall story after story from the Bible.
What are the odds that a shepherd boy would use one smooth stone and a slingshot to take down a giant? What are the odds that Gideon’s army of only 300 would conquer an army of 135,000? What are the odds that an elderly couple (Abraham was 100 and Sarah 90) would conceive a child? What are the odds that a virgin would give birth to the Son of God?
The Lord continued to minister and speak directly to my spirit.
For that matter, what are the odds that a couple will stay married for life? Statistics show 50 percent end in divorce. You knew it was rare, but took the odds and have been married 31 years.
I love to demolish human odds and statistics. I am the God of the impossible! How do you like my odds? My math? My science?
I created you from dust and breathed life into your lungs. What are the odds?
I sent my holy Son to be born a human being and to die for the sins of humankind, then to be raised to life again. What are the odds?
Since when do you rest in human odds? I tell you to trust and wait on ME. I defy human odds again and again. Have faith in my odds. For I am the only one to be trusted. I, the Lord, hold all things together. I make a way where there seems to be no way.
Faith, hope, and trust shatter limited human understanding.
So, what is my response to this amazing encounter with the Holy Spirit of God?
I choose to trust the God of the impossible. If I stand on His promises, then His odds are ever in my favor!
Each day is a gift and I don’t want to waste one single moment worrying about something that God has full control over. I’m going to embrace the non-chemo days when I feel well and spend them with those I love. I’m going to trust God to sustain and strengthen me on the days that I don’t feel well.
Why? Because He happens to have an excellent track record. I’m not only talking about the truths of Scripture. I’m talking about personal experience. I’ve had more answered prayers than I have time to write about. His daily presence has given me an abundantly blessed life. And when He determines (not statistics) my time on earth is done, I’m going to be with Him in Heaven completely healed.
I have hope and faith that the One who created the universe has control of cancer cells. I’m going to hold fast to Isaiah 58:8 that I will be healed here on earth. After all, The One who holds all things together is holding me during this cancer journey and surely will use it for His glory!
Now, let me tell you, writing this post was not easy. Even though I am choosing to trust God for healing, there is still a thread of nagging doubt that crops up. “What if He does not heal me and I wrote this post proclaiming that He will? What will that do to my family and my reader’s faith?” At these moments, I tell the devil to get behind me! I also profess God’s Word that He has good plans for me.
And furthermore, the faith of others is not something that I am in control over. Faith is between an individual and the Holy Spirit of God Almighty. I must be careful not to attempt to take on His role.
And ya know what? God led me to another passage of scripture during a recent time of doubt. This is from when the angel Gabriel tells Mary she is going to give birth to the Son of God.
Gabriel concludes by telling Mary, “For no word from God will ever fail.” (some translations say, “For nothing is impossible with God.”)
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”
My mission is to have the faith of Mary that His Word from Isaiah 58:8 for me will be fulfilled and to share my testimony. In this way, I shut down the enemy and elevate and bring glory to the Father!
“They triumphed over him (Satan) by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.” Revelation 12:11
I am the Lord’s servant. I will live to tell the story and bring God all the glory!
My friend, whatever is concerning you today, please know this—God is good and His plans for you are good (Jeremiah 29:11). Maybe like me, you are in the midst of a difficult trial. Trust God because He alone is trustworthy. Even those closest to us are not always good to us. Unfortunately, people let us down at times.
But God will never, ever, leave you.
Those who place their hope in God, receive unfailing love and peace that surpasses human understanding. For God is a God of abundance. Although we live in a world of supply and demand, God will never run out of love or resources. He longs to lavish His children will His glorious riches. He can even take what is meant for evil and use it for good!
God triumphs over ALL!
Now those are odds ever in our favor!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 5:13
I’d love to hear your comments and prayer requests in the comments below.
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