Wait: God Does Rescue

Though the Christian heart struggles to find its rest in the Lord, God always rescues His Children.

As men and women of faith sink into the mire of illness, financial pressure, and injustice, they often grow tired of waiting. Seeking to make things right, they grab for the technology tools sitting on their self-help shelf.

Technology contains no inherent evil. Zoom calls, Facebook Live videos, and older technologies like radio have proved to be close allies of the church. Yet, Christians can turn these allies into enemies of faith when they abandon prayer in favor of human action. Instead of asking the Lord to provide for their finances, young Christians start trading stocks on Robinhood. Rather than cry to the Lord for health, the aging followers of Jesus spend their days researching everything from chemotherapy to dandelions. And instead of petitioning God for wisdom, Christians parents attempt to find parenting guidelines from Facebook pols. The temptation to replace prayer with human effort ever tempts the Christian soul.

God does work through natural means, restoring the sick with medicine, blessing the unemployed with new jobs after they create a LinkedIn profile, and delivering parents who embrace leadership concepts. Christians should take proactive steps. But natural means should not be the hope of the believer. The power to pull the broken soul from the pit resides not in stock accounts, doctors, or Facebook users but in the God, who reigns over the accountants, the doctors, and the Facebook users (Ps 127:1). Unless God watches, the watchman watches in vain. In Psalm 40:1-3, King David calls us to place our hope in God. He writes,

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.

Psalm 40:1-3

David stood on the brink of destruction as he sank in the quicksand of life without access to a branch or rope. All seemed hopeless for David. Yet he did not lose hope and reach out for the hand of prideful men who employed self-centered lies to advance their own cause at the expense of the hurting (Ps 40:4). He did not place his hope in technology or in any other person under earth. He cried to the Lord and waited for God. Though the world mocked David as he sank closer and closer to destruction, help did come. God pulled David from the pit and set him upon the rock of truth. Blessings returned to David’s life and songs of praise filled David’s lungs.

If you feel stuck in the mud of depression, discouragement, and pain, I encourage you to follow David. Wait upon the Lord. Let’s put down our phones, turn off the computer, and put the tablet to sleep and devote the time once given to worry to prayer. Let’s pray and then do the hard work of waiting.

Faith consists of asking, waiting, and asking again, believing that God’s past actions of salvation ensure his future work. David notes, God will never restrain his mercy (Ps 40:11). He will hear and he will act. He will sustain us by his steadfast love. Those who wait upon the Lord never experience disappointment.

If bitterness fills your mouth, cry out to God for salvation. If depression has stained your lips, cry out to God for salvation. If your mouth aches from the injustices of this world, cry out to God for salvation. Though hours, days, and years may pass, God will save you from the pit. You will praise the Lord again. God will put a new song in your mouth. “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust (Ps 40:5).”

How goes prayering and the waiting?

Memo: April’s Cancer Update – June 2020

Invisible smiles. To unmask the secret workings of April’s cancer, she and I had to cover our faces with blue, three-ply fabric bound together by elastic string seemingly designed to afflict one’s ears. Though the masks hid our smiles, they could not damper the gleam of hope in our eyes.

While the Coronavirus crisis has been a season of death, hardship, and unrest for many, April and I have found these last months to be a fruitful time of hope. April has been able to disciple and educate our children and manage a majority of the day-to-day tasks of our home. She still battles fatigue and muscle pain as she fulfills her goals for her life and for our family. Though few have been able to peak behind the outside mask of our house, April and I can both affirm it has been filled with smiles both small and big.

God has been faithful and kind to us. We have found the words of Psalm 118:5 to be true:

Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.

Though we have been weak, frail, unbelieving, confused, and depressed at times, God has been faithful. He has heard our sad souls and has sustained us by his mercy these past few months. When the coronavirus restrictions landed, we could have been laid bare. Instead, we have been infused with hope and faith as God has done more in April’s body and in our souls than we could ever imagine. Our hearts echoed the words of Psalm 118:1,

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Though our souls have been often hidden from public view these last few months, they abound with hopeful smiles.

We arrived at the Mayo clinic somewhat nervous to be at Mayo (after all no one truly likes hospitals). But, our disposition was still decidedly more hopeful than not. As we moved about the elevators decorated with yellow tape and sat in chairs spaced six feet apart that reduced the chances sharing either germs or causal conversations, the faint smiles on our faces grew. When the doctor unmasked the latest, findings, we smiled with joy.

According to April’s Mayo team, the treatment is working. All of her tumors have either stabilized or shrunk since her last scan. Most of the cancer spots have also decreased in either size or intensity. Though our faces were rendered invisible by masks, we could not help by secretly smile because we know God has heard our prayers and your prayers!

Most likely, our smiles will remain hidden for the foreseeable future since the Coronavirus refuses to surrender to the assaults of modern medicine. April and I will continue to follow social distancing and mask protocols. Because of her cancer and treatments, April remains susceptible to the Coronavirus which has claimed more than 120,000 lives this year. We long for the return to normal. But we know that day is not here yet.

We ask you to join us in praying for that day, for April’s medication to keep working, for us to have wisdom as we seek to live out the gospel in this COVID19 world while balancing love and safety, for us to have opportunities to share Christ, and for our kids to be drawn to Christ through this ordeal.

Though our smiles remain hidden because of the masks of space and time, they remain full of hope. Thank you for praying with us and for smiling with us today!

Contact Info:

Email us at: biblefighter@gmail.com 

You can reach us via snail-mail at : P.O. Box 637/ Amissville, VA 20106

You are also welcome call Amissville Baptist Church at: 540-937-6159.

GOFundMe Page

We will posting updates here at witkowskiblog.com

Thank you for your love, prayers, and never-ending support.

Sustained By Grace Through Faith,

Peter and April

Memo: April’s Cancer Update – April 2020

covid 19 blogThe world we spoke of last December has been transformed by the COVID-19 crisis. In our last update, we talked about airplane rides, hospital excursions, and theme park rides. Now, we wear masks to the grocery store, avoid airplanes, and enter hospitals with trepidation. The world of April’s healthcare has also been profoundly shaped by the coronavirus pandemic.

Though the coronavirus threateningly flies above our world, April’s health remains secure from the present threat of cancer. Her latest bone scan and CT scan have arrived full of good news. The tumors in her bones remain unchanged, having neither grown nor shrunk. And the tumors in her breast, lymph nodes, and liver have shrunk. We praise God for this good report. April can continue on with her current treatment plan.

Despite the good news, our home remains on high alert because of the COVID-19 threat.

April resides in the high-risk category because of her cancer and because her medications suppress her immune system. Were she to contract COVID-19, her chances for survival would be substantially lower than the average person. Moreover, doctors have noted that women with estrogen tend to be less susceptible to the virus. Since April has Her2- PR+ and ER+ cancer, she takes medicine that eliminates all of the estrogen from her body, placing her at greater risk than most. Not wanting to chance her health, we have embraced the quarantine, turning our home into a little fortress.

Because the COVID-19 dragon roams about our state, we have temporally shut our door to hospitality. We no longer accept the gracious offers of our friends to clean our house, cook us meals, and to watch our children. To strengthen our defenses, we stepped away from birthday parties and other social gatherings more than a week before the President recommended that all groups be limited to ten or less people. We limited Lily’s butterfly, dance, birthday party to our two fairy princes and one knight. We seldom cross the drawbridge of isolation into the COVID-19 world, visiting stores about once a week without leaving our car. We spend the remainder of our time, working from home, Cloroxing packages, and playing with our little kiddos. Luke, Lily, and Lacey have become acquainted with the virus, telling neighbor that they can’t play because of the coronavirus. Though we lament the need to fortify our home, we do not want April’s health to be undone by secondary causes.

IMG-7678 (1)We have not been the only one to mobilize our defenses. Both the Mayo Clinic and the University of Virginia have locked down their campuses. As the spread of the virus swept across the nation, April remained in contact with both medical teams. With one voice, the doctors at Mayo and UVA recommended moving April’s scans from Minnesota to Virginia, breaking protocol so that April could continue her treatment in the safest environment available.

Though the trip to Charlottesville takes about an hour, April found her trip this past Tuesday to be just as daunting as her six plus hour trips to Mayo. For the first time in her cancer journey, April had to go to an appointment without me. We did not want to expose our family to the outside world. When she arrived at the hospital, she went through numerous screenings. As she walked through the hospital that bore an eerie resemblance to this dystopian movie, she saw orange warning sign after orange warning sign requiring patients to keep their distance and to report their symptoms to a healthcare worker. She then sat in the “high-risk” waiting area, catching only glimpses of fellow, mask wearing patients being overseen by medical staff and security guards. Spaces that usually contained 30 to 50 patients now held only her. Thankfully all the precautions proved effective. April crossed the drawbridge back into our little fortress seemingly untouched by COVID-19.

Though the world suffers under darkness, our little fortress bustles with joy because we have seen God answer our prayers. He has blessed April with good scans. Moreover, as challenges related to the COVID-19 crisis have arisen, God has given April the strength to meet them. When the year began, April lacked the strength to cook meals, to clean, and to care for our kids. The past ten months, we have prayed for God to bless April with the ability to clean and to manage and teach our children at home. Today, she is able to do both.  We can say with the Psalmist, “Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free.” Our hearts are full of thanks! Thank you for praying for us.

Please continue to lift us up to the Lord.

  1. Pray that God will heal April and keep her and our family safe from COVID-19.
  2. Pray that God will give us wisdom as we seek to balance caring for April and caring for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
  3. Pray that God will continue to give April daily strength and energy.
  4. Pray that the quarantine will strengthen our marriage and our relationships with our children.
  5. Pray that God would save our children.

 

Contact Info:

Email us at: biblefighter@gmail.com 

You can reach us via snail-mail at : P.O. Box 637/ Amissville, VA 20106

You are also welcome call Amissville Baptist Church at: 540-937-6159.

GOFundMe Page

We will  posting updates here at witkowskiblog.com

Thank you for your love, prayers, and never-ending support.

Sustained By Grace Through Faith,

Peter and April