Bittersweet

Supply lines are incredibly important. Tim Cook revolutionized the supply lines at Apple helping make it into the amazingly successful consumer electronics company it is today. In the military, wars have been won and lost because of supply line issues. If the front line gets too far ahead of their supply line, their progress will be slowed dramatically. If the supplies get too far ahead, they risk vulnerability and capture by the enemy.

Supply LinesOne of the things that has hit me as we walk down this road of cancer that God has us on, is his perfect timing and his supply line management. Tim Cook is an incredibly gifted man and used his gifts to make Apple into the success story it is, but God’s work of caring for the wilderness wanderers (Deut 8:2-5) has Cook beaten squarely. Forty years of perfect provision. That’s an amazing track record, and in reality, it isn’t even the beginning, nor the end of God’s perfect track record. He’s never failed. Ever. Not once in all of history.

Knowledge and Understanding

Knowing God’s perfect provision and seeing it in action are two very different things. Knowing something is true is one thing, Understanding that truth is another. Its on another level. Like the difference between knowing the mechanics of how to drive compared to actually being out on the road in traffic. You can know how the gas and brakes and gear lever works, but understanding their use together in application takes real world experience.

My perfect God who upholds me by the might of his power (Heb 1:3) is keeping the supply lines feeding our need every moment of every day. It is no pithy saying that “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). “…He himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25) and he has been faithfully providing everything we need, and just at the right times. We’ve seen it in various forms, through gift cards, freezer meals, and funds to make ends meet each month, God’s faithfulness is clear and present, and we praise his glorious name for showing his love to us through the means of the body of believers.

Bittersweet

These are beautiful evidences of grace from God, but in a way, they are also a bittersweet reminder that there is more road for us to travel. There’s no two ways about it, this road we are on is hard. We struggle some days to see God’s goodness amidst the pain of knowing that there are cancers cells racing around in Joel’s body. That pain is amplified as we watch him struggle through each round of chemotherapy chasing after those cells. The chemotherapy is ruthless and has no regard for Joel’s health. It’s mission is to kill cancer, and it goes all through Joel’s body, smashing through every cell, benign and malignant, to accomplish its mission. Our team of doctors works hard to make sure that the balance of care stays one step ahead of the chemo and cancer to keep Joel healthy.

Each time a gift comes I’m both thankful and dreadful. Thankful because of the continued grace of God lavished upon our undeserving souls, and dreadful, because we don’t feel like we can keep this up any longer. We don’t want more of this road. Our desire is to be done with all of it, but the journey still isn’t over. We still haven’t finished this race. We see the gift, weep in weakness, and praise our God who supplies all our needs (Phil 4:19) remembering that this gift is proof that we are not alone.

Not Alone

The wilderness wanderers had provision for each day, and clothes that miraculously didn’t wear out, but more importantly, they had the presence of God with them every step of the way. They saw it in a pillar of cloud by day, and of fire by night. They were never alone, and neither are we. We have one who goes before us (Deut 31:8, Josh 1:9) and is the only perfect project manager supplying all our needs. My greatest need each day is more of him. This road is helping me to learn that more and more. I have nothing to bring to this table that God hasn’t given me first. I don’t want this road, but I do want more of God, and he is using this road to help me have exactly that.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
(John 3:30 ESV)

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