As you can imagine, receiving the news that I had breast cancer was devastating and life changing. Fighting cancer has not only been a physical battle, but an emotional and spiritual one as well. This has been a time of pain, fear, and sorrow, but it has also been a time of joy, gratitude, and hope, and as the Lord guides me, He has been teaching many lessons about life and faith. One lesson I have learned is to embrace the magic of the moment.
As I went through chemotherapy and the subsequent surgery (from which I am currently recovering), God has given me many magical moments. When I got the news that I had no cancer in my bones, that was a magical praise worthy moment. While I was extremely grateful and relieved, and I gave God the glory and the praise, I couldn't help but quickly move on to the next worry: "Is it in any of my organs?" Yes, that was a pressing concern, but I wish I had unleashed my right now praise. I did thank God, and I did praise Him for His goodness, but that worry prevented me from really giving Him the praise He deserved. This became a pattern: I found out there was no cancer in my organs, and I began to worry about the bilateral mastectomy surgery that awaited me. I made it through the surgery, and after thanking and praising the Lord, became anxious about the pathology report that would tell me if the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes. And when I received the AMAZING news that there was no cancer in my lymph nodes, I began to worry about cancer popping up in another organ. It was at this point that God revealed to me that I need to focus on the current victory and not worry about tomorrow's possible defeat.
Psalm 103:1-5 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases;
Yes, I gave God the praise and I was filled with immense gratitude, but I did not truly unleash the praise I should have. A "right now praise", to me, is a praise for where you are right now. You don't worry about what you might have to overcome tomorrow, you simply lose yourself in praise and worship right now because your AWESOME God has blessed you. You dwell in that moment. You let Him know that He is amazing and that you are humbled by his grace and love.
Of course, we know that tomorrow is not promised; we simply choose not to dwell on that fact. We know that we must live as if there's no tomorrow or whatever the clichés say, but often time this is not the case. Too often we are so consumed with tomorrow that we forget Jesus' words in Matthew 6:34, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
It's human nature to worry; however, if all we do is worry, we'll never truly be able to praise the Lord. The fact of the matter is, we don't know what tomorrow may bring. Our concerns are often very real and valid, BUT God gives us "magical moments." These are little, and not so little, victories that should focus our attention on Him and bring peace and joy to our hearts.
Hopefully, cancer is not the battle you're facing right now. I truly pray it isn't, but even if it is, I'm sure you can see God's grace sprinkling these moments of victory in the midst of your pain and hurt. Sometimes it is the love of your family and friends. Just a moment of realizing that you have been blessed with amazing people in your life. It could be being able to pay that bill that you knew you had no way of paying. It could simply be the unexpected kindness of a stranger. Whatever it is, keep your eyes out for these "magical moments." I promise you they are there because our Father has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. Yes, He may allow us to go through the storm, but He reassures us that He's there and that He still cares by allowing us to have little slivers of sunshine break through the clouds every now and then.
Unleash your right now praise. If you're having a hard time, gratitude is the best place to start. He has done something awesome for you today. Even if it is simply the fact that your heart is beating or that you are in your "right" mind, praise Him. Praise Him! Forget about what might happen and praise Him because He deserves it.