Friday, March 25
A future with hope
“For surely I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
I grew up hearing these words from my grandmother, aunts, and mom. These words were to encourage me, and remind me of God’s love and promise. This is the Bible verse I cling to when life brings uncertainty, sorrow, or feelings of help-lessness.
One year and two months ago my husband, Phil, received a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This was a cancer we thought we had beaten, with surgery, two years earlier. Now it had spread to his lungs, spleen and bone marrow.
In that moment I thought, “Surely Lord, this is not the plan you have for me.”
And yet it was my reality. That was the direction of my life and I had to learn to put one foot in front of the other. With each step, trusting in the Lord. In the darkness of that journey, I felt lonely and lost, peppered with the question, “How am I going to do this?” Watching my husband lose weight and grow paler each day during treatments was one of the lowest times of my life. The only way I could keep moving forward and provide encouragement to my husband was to know that God was with us — through every treat-ment, every CT and PET scan, blood test and exam. There were many nights after the house was tucked in and quiet, I would sit reading the Bible. Again and again, my heart was drawn to Jeremiah 29:11. My prayer to God lay within that verse to give us hope and a future.
Phil continues to grow stronger each day. We know that Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is not a curable cancer, but “surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord” is our message of hope. Although we may not know what tomorrow will bring, God knows what’s best for us. He will always lead us in the direction of a future with hope.
Gracious and loving Lord, you are a God of hope, hope for tomorrow, and hope for peace. Thank you for all the bless-ings that you pour down upon us. Help us during times of fear and insecurity to put one foot in front of the other. Trusting in you always, in all ways, Lord. Amen.
Ruth Ann Diehl