This year, I've decided to do something different. During the year that Hannah battled cancer, she was reading "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers as her daily devotional. As I finally cleaned out her bedroom nearly two years after her death, that book was still sitting on her bedside table next to her clock radio. I remember thinking at that time that I wanted to read that book someday, wondering what it might be like to read those daily excerpts through the eyes of a teenage girl diagnosed with cancer. But I set it aside ... not quite emotionally ready for that.
Well, that's the book I've decided to use as my devotional guide this year. I was actually a few days late getting started because of some post-Christmas celebrating with my family in northern Arkansas. I finally picked it up a few days ago and decided to read two days at a time until I got caught up.
And I couldn't believe the topics for the first two days of January.
The Scripture passage for January First was Philippians 1:20: "...my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death." (Italics mine.)
Whew! What a verse for a girl who is fighting cancer! The devotional for that day goes on to say, "But before we choose to follow God's will, a crisis must develop in our lives...If a crisis has come to you on any front, surrender your will to Jesus absolutely and irrevocably."
The Scripture passage for January Second was Hebrews 11:8: "He went out, not knowing where he was going." The devotional says, "...think about how unnecessary and disrespectful worry is! Let the attitude of your life be a continual willingness to 'go out' in dependence upon God, and your life will have a sacred and inexpressible charm about it that is very satisfying to Jesus."
As I read these two devotionals, I couldn't help but picture my girl reading them in her bedroom at night, and thinking about how they applied to her own life. And she did apply them! By the grace of God, she was able to magnify Christ both in her life and in her death. She followed Him in faith, not knowing where her cancer journey was going to lead her, but in continual willingness to depend on Him. It's enough to make a mom step back in awe of her own child. I pray that I may be found as faithful.
And that's what I'm thinking about on this Thoughtful Thursday.