Boast In The Lord January 22nd, 2023

Psalm 46:10
Be still and know that I am God…

There was a deafening silence that pierced the room as the doctor poured over lab results, and I sat helplessly waiting for a response. 
I was 28 years old, and obsessed with the notion that in life, there was zero room for error. We had a six month old baby who never slept nor stopped crying because of colic, my wife had given up her job to stay at home with our son, my father had been recently diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset dementia, and I was wrapping up a 14 month masters degree while working multiple jobs to offset a teaching salary. I had been sick for nearly a year; exhausted, dropping weight, and obsessively pushing pain aside so I could complete the next task.
The pace had been exhausting, and as I sat there waiting for the doctor to break character and reveal his initial thoughts, I came to the conclusion that my pace of life simply wasn’t sustainable. I had pushed my body to the edge because I was convinced there was no alternative, that there was weakness in taking a breather, that every sacrifice made today was an investment in my family's future. In short, I had reached my limit, and for someone who thrived off of constantly pushing physical boundaries, it was heartbreaking. 
The next few weeks confirmed the doctor’s suspicions. It was stage 3 lymphoma, with masses on my neck, chest, and spleen. The treatment would be straightforward but intense; twelve rounds of potent chemotherapy over the course of 6 months. 
It was a hard reality to face. My entire life I pushed physical and emotional limits as a way of proving myself, and now I was emotionally drained and physically incapable. Though the cancer was retreating, the chemotherapy drugs were taking a toll. My bones would literally snap as I moved to get out of the car, my legs felt as though cement was weighing me down, and I literally had to wake my wife up at night because I was falling out of the bed but didn’t have the strength to move. For the first time in my life, I felt helpless with no sense of control. 
Psalm 46:10 became a humbling rallying cry for me; “Be still and know that I am God.” I learned to resign myself and my life situation to forces higher than me. I was in a position where I had to let life happen, rather than strongarm it to my desires. As strange as it sounds, I noticed trees for the first time - strong, powerful, and deeply rooted. I wanted my faith to mirror this powerful image, and acknowledged the only way to do this was to let God take the reins. 
Over the next few months, despite numerous setbacks, I regained my strength, anchored down my faith, and made the conscious decision to trust in the Lord. The Grace community was a huge part of this, and to this day I am forever grateful not only for the church’s compassion, but also the fact that my faith was realigned to God’s will, and that His presence was all-encompassing.

Dear Lord, 
Help me to acknowledge your omnipresence, grace, and vision, especially when things don’t go as planned. Help me to take pause and reflect in your presence, and resign my earthly need to be in control. Help me embrace your grace, and know that you are in control, and my biggest ally.

Scott Rebholz

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