Faithfulness: A Fruit of the Spirit
“‘Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in their heart but believes what they say will happen, it will be done for them.’”
Mark 11:22-23 (NIV)
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
“And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.”
Hebrews 11:11 (NIV)
A little over 11 months ago, God made me a promise which carries me through everyday. During my quiet time, on December 17, 2018, God told me that my two-year-old daughter Taryn was not going to die from the large, aggressive, inoperable tumor located in her brain stem. He told me He was going to heal her, but we needed to be faithful. Just three days earlier, the doctors told my wife and me that Taryn had a few months to live at best.
Over the next several days, we spoke with over a dozen neuro-oncologists and neurosurgeons throughout the country, and they all agreed with the initial diagnosis and “extremely poor” prognosis. They were all certain that Taryn would probably not see her third birthday. Yet, God’s promise and His enduring faithfulness gave me the confidence to tell these world-renowned professionals that God had a completely different prognosis than they did. Taryn was diagnosed with a tumor called DIPG, and God reminded me that the name of Jesus is greater than any cancer diagnosis.
God gave me instructions to tell everyone I spoke with to write down the letters DIPG and then write Jesus over it. For my family and other fellow believers, this was not too big of an ask. But God instructed me to have everyone do it. So when co-workers called and asked how they could help, I told them to grab a piece of paper, write down the diagnosis, and write Jesus over it. When meeting with doctors and nurses, they would write down the diagnosis during consultations, and then I’d tell them to write the name of Jesus over it. They must have thought I was crazy, but I’d rather offend them than God.
On Saturday, December 29, 2018, Taryn’s primary neuro-oncologist called to let us know that Taryn did not have DIPG. Instead, she had an incredibly rare non-fatal tumor. Instead of having only months to live, the doctors now believed that Taryn would have a normal life expectancy. I reminded them that their prognosis was just catching up with God’s. During our subsequent consultations, the doctors started using terms like high school and college graduation. Just two weeks earlier, my wife and I met with hospice providers for Taryn, and now the doctors were talking about when she graduates from college. Thank you God for your promises.
Today’s Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you so much for your promises. God, I thank you that your promises are unwavering, and that I can stand steadfast on them. I am so thankful that when you say something, I know it will be done even when I cannot see it with my own eyes. And thank you Lord for moving the mountain of my daughter’s terminal cancer diagnosis to the sea. In Jesus’ name… Amen.