‘If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!Matthew 7:11
God strongly desires to give us good things. He drives home that point in Matthew 7:11. He gives us another tool of a power perspective in Matthew 7:7, which says “Seek, and you will find.” It’s a widely known fact that we notice what sits in the front part of our minds. From my cancer diagnosis, scans, tests, hard choices, chemo, surgery, and radiation, songs and scriptures help me keep my faith. I didn’t know it as it happened but every stage of my journey had a theme; and those theses ere marked by songs that became my anthems. The song, “Oceans” was one of the first cancer anthems. It reminds me of the loneliness I felt, my posture towards God, and desperate and beautiful miracles God worked in my heart, mind, and body during the worst days.
Ask, Seek, Knock
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.Matthew 7:7
The Joshua Memorial
During the worst days, I was desperate for a miracle, and sometimes that miracle was as simple as the desire to live. Looking back, I can see God’s goodness not just despite it all, but throughout it all. In hindsight, I have many of the answers to the questions of those dark times. It strengthens my faith to believe for more. Chapters 3 and 4 of the book of Joshua, reminds me of how important it is to keep those victories before my eyes. Joshua set up a memorial of 12 stones on the day of a miracle. Memorials shouldn’t be limited to the passing of someone we love; we should have them in every part of our lives. We need to bring back Joshua’s definition of memorials. I have several types that define each part of my journey.
Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been[b] in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.Joshua 4:9
Todays Cancer Anthem
My cancer journey memorials are journals, psalms, poems, and songs. When one of those songs plays, when I come across a journal entry or a poem I wrote, I remember his kindness and goodness. Today my cancer anthem is called “The Goodness of God” by Bethel Music. Every time I hear it, don’t think of the negatives but see the times where God showed up for me. The blessing of hindsight affords us a glimpse of his hand at work in our lives, even when we couldn’t see it at the time. I’m still here, but also, if I didn’t make it, those miracles still stand on their own. When people ask, and even when you ask, you can point to the testimony of God’s goodness in the worst time.
‘What are these stones to you?’ you’ll say, ‘The flow of the Jordan was stopped in front of the Chest of the Covenant of God as it crossed the Jordan—stopped in its tracks. These stones are a permanent memorial for the People of Israel.’”Joshua 4:7
Building Our Own Memorial
My anthem today is very different than the one I had during my darkest days. We often carry memorials that depict the horrors of our worst experiences. Years later, they can pop up unexpectedly and sour our life. God wants to heal us of these torments. God gave the leader Joshua the direction of how to collect the pieces and build memories of God’s goodness and he does the same for us today. I didn’t have the strength on my own to do any of this. God helps us in those times, he helped me. Right where you are now, you can ask God for a song, or something with which to build that memorial. Remember that he loves you, he won’t ever leave you and he will help you build goodness into your present, future, and past. Just ask, seek, wait, and remember that even when times are hard, God is good.
This was so that everybody on earth would recognize how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that you would hold God in solemn reverence always.”Joshua 4:24