Insights from a Glory-Bound Lady”
Volume 5 Number 21 “What a Great Reminder, Not Why, But What?”
May 25, 2022
Over the next few weeks, I am looking back over the dozens and dozens of “Karen’s Notes” that I’ve posted. From these I am going to once again share several with the hope and prayer that the Lord will bless as He did when it was first published on February 20th, 2019. This is perhaps the most often shared and had the greatest of responses.
I have met people that lived in a state of denial. I’ve seen it happen in marriages where one spouse says, “We’re fine. There’s nothing wrong and nothing needs changing,” all the while further fractures are taking place. I’ve seen denial in the workplace, local church, and in the field of medicine. Honestly, at this stage of my life with over fifty years of pastoral counseling, I’ve seen “denial” in so many areas.
A verse that became very special to Karen during her cancer journey was 1 Corinthians 10:31, “…Whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.” As by her hospital bedside I sat holding her hand, I tried fighting back my tears. I lost that battle. But I saw a very special peace (not denial) in my Karen. She quietly said, “Honey. The tests are going to come back cancer. As I was praying about it in the night, I just had this settled certainty come into my heart. It’s going to be cancer, and it is going to be very serious. I told the Lord that I was not going to waste energy asking ‘why?’ I was going to use all the strength that the Lord would give me to live by the ‘what?’ I want to ask the Lord, ‘What do You want me to do?’ I am glad that you are going on the journey with me, Honey.” Several days later the physician would confirm that it was not only cancer, but that it was very serious cancer.
It would be several years later that I discovered what she wrote in the front cover of her Bible.
Karen wrote: “February 24th, 2015. Stage IV Lung Cancer. Not ‘Why’ but rather, ‘What do You want me to do?’ May Christ be glorified in my life.”
Michael’s observation: Karen never lived in denial. Never for one moment! I will admit that her lung cancer surely took us by surprise because neither Karen nor I have ever been smokers and she had not been around second-hand smoke. She realized that her lung cancer had already widely spread before its presence was made known. But we both knew that folks who lived in denial, or even worse, folks who lived in the world of the “why” would miss many of the blessings that would come to those who determined to live in the world of the “what.” What do You want me to do, Lord? Rough days, weeks, and months would lie ahead. Often, we would need to refocus on staying in the “what?”
Your situation may be much less drastic than Stage IV lung cancer. But how will keeping the “what” rather than demanding the “why” affect your life today?