Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Do You Do All to the Glory of God?

Sometimes I can feel a little sorry for myself.

I have to be careful of my lower back. If my tailbone goes cockeyed, I can be reduced to crawling on hands and knees for a couple of days because of the intense pain. Then I whine, “Lord, I have six children to care for and you let this happen?”

I’m returning to the skin surgeon this Friday to have the rest of a basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) removed from my upper back. Quite frankly, I’m tempted to moan, “Lord, I’m only in my early forties and now I’m going to be saddled with keeping track of skin cancer for the rest of my life?”

What about you?


Tim and Becky Keep were missionaries to the Philippines for many years with our connection of churches, and Tim currently serves as our General Missions Secretary. When their third child was only five weeks old, he was diagnosed with a rare cancer that grows tumors in the eyes, retinoblastoma. Plans to return to the Philippines were canceled, and the next four years of little Jesse’s life were spent in and out of doctor’s offices and hospitals with various tortuous examinations and treatments. At the age of two, Jesse’s left eye was removed. Just before his fourth birthday, his right eye was removed leaving him blind for life.

As I read through their book, Eyes to See: Glimpses of God in the Dark, I stressed, I cried, I grieved with Becky and Tim as they struggled through four long years of unresolved questions, seemingly endless waiting, and constant prayer. "Where was God?" I asked myself repeatedly. "These are wonderful people," I told myself, "giving their lives in service to spreading the gospel to remote parts of the world."

And then Becky writes of the Lord speaking to Tim during a time of particularly difficult self-doubt. God said, “’…What I want you to pray for right now, and the only thing I want you to pray for, is for My glory. I want you to believe that whatever I choose to do in Jesse’s life and in your family, I’ll be glorified through it. I want you to pray that through this difficult trial, men and women will see the embodiment of My love, My peace, My joy and My enabling grace and that by seeing Me they will be emboldened to love and trust Me more.’” (p. 71)

Tears are streaking my cheeks even as I type these words to you. What a wonderful word from the Lord! Pray that He will be glorified! Even when I’m crawling on the floor…when the cancer is being scraped from my back…I will pray that the Lord is glorified.

Jesse is now fifteen years old, excelling in school, a bit of a risk-taker, and committed to living his life for Jesus.

“Our story and Jesse’s has been written on His heart from the beginning of time and is playing out each day just as He ordained and designed it to. We realize not only that cancer or blindness cannot thwart His plan but that they are actually interwoven creatively and lovingly into that beautiful plan.” (p. 124)

I’m not sharing about this book, Eyes to See: Glimpses of God in the Dark, so that you will buy it on Amazon and benefit my family financially through the affiliate link. But I wanted you to know how much it touched my life and my approach to God and that it is available on Amazon. Becky shares her heart through the details of the treatments, their reactions, and their emotional roller coaster through the trial.

The Keeps have also set up a Facebook page, Eyes to See.

To God be the glory!







I did not receive this book in exchange for a review. Our church buys three missionary books each year to pass around the congregation, and this was one of our selections this year. Since I have the honor of passing out the books this year, I kept this one back to read first. But I still had a chapter left when my husband snagged it.



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16 comments:

  1. It sounds like a wonderful book, I'll have to get ahold of a copy! I know we have seen in our own life how God can use anything for His glory, especially since Mason was born with all his medical problems. One lesson Mason has taught me is that joy is not dependent on a perfectly normal life, body, or even health. Joy is God's gift to us as we focus on Him.

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    1. Great thoughts, Tristan. It can be a difficult lesson but well worth learning.

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  2. I will look that one up, always looking for a good read. Did you ever hear the Pineapple Story series by Otto Konig? Love a good missionary story.

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    1. I haven't heard of that one, Val, but I'll look it up. I grew up in a church denomination that, to my knowledge, never talked about missions. So I love reading books like this and seeing what so many have given up in order to spread the gospel.

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  3. Sometimes it seems God has forgotten about me, but that is so not the case. This just encourages me to think about how the grace of God can be shown in so many ways and his plan is perfect, we just need to let it unfold. I'm so happy to hear the little one is thriving in Christ.
    Thank you.

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    1. The Lord has definitely not forgotten about you, Lexie! Trust can be difficult, especially when you can't see or understand what He is doing. That's why we have faith. Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith!

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  4. Meghan,

    This is why I love your blog so much. Thank you for sharing stories like these.

    Blessings!

    Sue

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Sue!

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  5. I've been reading missionary biographies, and the message you talk about comes through in most of them as well. Very convicting and encouraging at the same time.

    I pray that your back pain and skin cancer will be healed and you will enjoy good health. I'm sorry you are suffering.

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    1. Missionary stories really make us appreciate what we have as well as make us realize how much better we could be doing, don't they? Thanks for commenting, Gail. :)

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  6. I am a missionary and I love missionary stories too. Especially anything by Helen Roseveare. May the Lord strengthen you as you prepare for the removal of this cancer.

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    1. You have many stories you could write as well, then, Debbie. I'm not familiar with Helen Roseveare. I'll look her up. Thanks, and many blessings to you!

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  7. Wow - talk about perspective! I've been whining for a week now...I think I'll stop. I honestly cannot imagine walking down such a road...but what a message! What a testimony. I am so glad I read this. I feel very convicted right now.

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    1. It's amazing how a book, a story can change you, isn't it? The power of words.

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  8. Um, wow. My son was actually treated for retinoblastoma shortly before his second birthday. I think I need to read this one (though honestly, I'm kind of terrified to read it, too.)

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    1. Wow, Anne. It's supposed to be really rare, and yet here are two of you. I thought it was an emotional read, and I'd never heard of retinoblastoma, so I understand your fear. But it's a wonderful story of God's love and grace in the middle of trials. I pray it will minister to you as you read!

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I so much appreciate your time and effort in leaving a comment, and I try to respond to as many as time permits. :-)