Taylor Swift's mom has been in a cancer battle for a little while now. On her last album, Taylor wrote her mom a song called "Soon You'll Get Better", and it's a tear-jerker. More importantly, she calls out a very cultural view of an actual Biblical Truth that this video below will go deeper into. She talks about moments in the hospital with her mom and then says, "Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus too".
From culture's viewpoint, we've got life under control and we don't need faith until we find ourselves or a loved one in a near-death/outside of our control type of situation. The desperation for God to give answers, perform miracles, or provide something the doctors can't, becomes extremely real, and it's then that people experience God in ways they never have before. According to that lyric, Taylor's situation caused a desperation in her to find faith and pray to Jesus. I'd call that a win, I'd call that steps toward healing, her healing. Could it be that God would allow this cancer diagnosis in Taylor's mom as a means to get her desperate for Him? That's what He did for me and it led me to be looking for and united with Him, always, even in regular life when things are "under control". An experience with God starts with a desperation for God, and that unity with Him is the ultimate healing.
The man in the screenshot below is named Tommy. Tommy was my high school youth leader and he now leads a church in Palm Harbor called Live Oaks. This man was the human being that God used to teach me that He is sovereign, which means He knows it all and planned it all out for my good- every detail, every moment, every bit of what's going to happen to me in this lifetime. Tommy's fearless and authentic teaching of the Bible is something that I admire so much, always have. It was his teaching in my high school years that equipped me for my cancer diagnosis in my college years.
I remember the moment that the doctor came in and said I had a tumor in my chest. It was like all that I had learned and knew of God instantly created this trust in His sovereignty and plan for the cancer. What I knew of Him overtook every thought and emotion because I had spent my high school years learning that He had the best planned out for me, even though, at that specific time, it wasn't my idea of "best"- this is the message, this is the moment we want to give every person faced with a diagnosis.
In this message, Tommy asked me to share a little of my story and it was the first time I had ever been asked to share with a focus on my stronger dependency and deepened relationship with God as the healing, not the remission. To speak on the fact that God reminded me that He can turn something the world deems so dark and treacherous into something so eternal and incredible. To teach how to view cancer as a gift because it causes a desperation for God- the only thing more valuable than healing from cancer.
I'll quick summarize here how Tommy goes deeper into the Truth of brokenness and disease being a good gift and how the pain and discomfort forces us to depend on God. He talks about how wealth and prosperity could actually be your worst enemy in the grand scheme of eternity.
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul begs God to take the thorn from his flesh, and God says no, which isn't because He doesn't love Paul, but because God knows humility is what Paul needs more than healing. "Perhaps he loves me enough not to heal me", Tommy said. It's so counter-cultural, but it's so Bible.
He teaches on this verse, too, and I know that someone reading this needs to hear this. I know I did:
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving
for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."
2 Corinthians 4:17
"Everything has been taken from me, but actually nothing has been taken from me because I have Christ..." Click the image below to catch the entire message- please. This is so important, y'all.
**Message brought to you by Tommy Shelton of Live Oaks Bible Church! Give them a Facebook like, but more importantly give them a visit or watch a sermon!