Today, I’m going to share a deeply personal testimony about what God has done in the lives of my family over the last eighteen months or so.
On 17th April 2014, I led public worship again for the first time in over fifteen years – the time of my Wilderness period was over. One of the key songs I brought that evening was ‘Have Your Way’, by Don Moen. A song in which the worshipper allows God to have His way; to fill the worshipper with His Spirit and to allow the Spirit to have His way in everything in the believer’s life. We sang that song from our hearts, meaning every word.
At that time, my lovely wife Fiona had just begun what was to be the second of sixteen months on chemotherapy. Treatment for what is usually a deadly illness, with extremely poor survival rates. We have gone through the fire, and we are still going through it. But thanks to a combination of prayer, God’s encouragement, special juice drinks, chemotherapy and a revolutionary new type of cancer treatment, my Fiona is still with us now and is more healthy than she has ever been. She has been given a break from chemotherapy because she is doing so well; the tumour has shrunk even more lately and there is no secondary cancer. Our Oncologist has said that Fiona has outlived all her expectations. We took the risk and allowed our amazing God to have His way. And He has indeed had His way! He’s spoken His word into our hearts and He’s had His way – with our faith, our lives, and the illness. In giving it to Him, He’s taken it on board Himself.
Sure, this could be seen as a scary time, without the ‘safety net’ of life-preserving chemotherapy. But we sang that song, that evening last year, for God to have His way. And over the following months, we had the most remarkable series of God encounters, ‘coincidences’ and blatant ‘mercy-moments’ that left no doubt in our minds that God was working in our lives, and having His way.
We don’t believe we are ‘tempting fate’ by writing this blog entry. God is bigger than Fate – and we have given Him permission to have His way. Superstition plays no part in Fiona’s healing!
And then the main theme of the meeting was the song ‘Healer’, by Kari Jobe. Brilliantly sung by my daughter (I hope to publish a video of us singing that song soon) and backed by me on the lovely grand piano, that song was the mainstay of the worship that evening on so many levels – personal, local, national and international.
But for us, it was the declaration into our lives that He’s our Healer; He’s Fiona’s Healer, He’s my Healer; He’s my family’s Healer. The evil of cancer damages more than just the patient herself. It has a huge concentric ripple effect where waves of horror and fear emanate out through the entire family.
But, you know what? God has used this terrible diagnosis to bring our family together, to bring healing to damaged relationships, to show forth His power and love and mercy, and He’s drawn closer to all of us in a way we’ve never experienced before.
As I’ve said, we’re still going through the fire. But Jesus spoke words to me last year that I hold in my heart as it’s His promise. And He spoke words to Fiona which we also hold in our hearts. Three specific words: two from two dear Christian friends; and one from the Lord Himself.
Words we’re going to stand on in faith, because we’ve given God permission to have His way. And because He’s our Healer – He’s said that, and we continue to declare it.
The beautiful mountain picture at the top of this page is in Wasdale, in the Lake District, UK. Fells from left to right: Yewbarrow; Kirk Fell (just visible behind Yewbarrow); Great Gable; Lingmell; Scafell Pike (just visible to the right of Lingmell).