God's Divine Example
I still can’t believe I’m a father! My twin boys are about to turn one, and it’s crazy how fast time has flown by! I have enough experienced parents around me to know that taking in each moment while I can is vital in these early years. From non-stop bottles to everlasting diapers -- I find myself reliving every moment to savor it as well as I can.
My boys are at the point where they are starting to walk. My oldest grabs things and pulls himself up, the whole time my hands are right behind him, ready to catch him if he falls. On many occasions, while interacting with my sons, I’m reminded of our awesome our Heavenly Father is…
It makes me think of how He braces us from falling throughout life and keeps us from the danger that we are completely unaware of! As a parent, I can see danger coming towards my children better than they can, and are far wiser than they are, much like how God can see danger coming to us before we can -- His ways being way higher than ours.
I can’t help but correlate my extreme protection over my twin babies to how God protects us. If needed, I’d go to every extreme to keep my children safe from harm or danger. Knowing how strongly I feel in this matter, let’s just imagine how much more God does the same thing for us in every way. God, in His infinite love, not only protects us through His Power but equips us with His Holy Spirit to guide us. I can’t help but think how much access my boys have and will always have to me, and how much time I have for them. Imagine how much more God, in all His Greatness and Love, is accessible to us? No matter what my sons do, I will always be in their corner because of the encompassing love I have for them and the fact that they are mine! God thinks of us the same way. I didn’t truly understand God’s outlook on us as His children until I had children of my own. It’s all so clear now: this walk of faith is a Father-Child relationship through and through. Our Father truly loves us and is accountable for us. Any thought that speaks contrary to that, is a lie! God loves us, and there is nothing that will change that, in spite of our issues and the errors we make. Jesus came and died for us as proof of this encompassing love God has for us.
Nothing can separate you from Him...
I can say with all confidence, no matter where you are in your Christian walk, no matter what your life looks like, no matter what you’ve done or are still doing -- nothing will separate you from the amazing love of God. God loves you in and through the mess, but it is not His desire for you to remain there. His will for our lives is beyond what we’ve ever imagined. We have to be obedient and submit to God’s word. Going to church is great, but like any relationship, you need more than 2 hours on a Sunday to develop a true connection.
One powerful thing about this scripture is if you’re not doing what God wants you to do, you’re making a choice. You’re literally choosing to go against your Divine Parent’s instruction. “A form a Godliness, and denies its power.” Let’s not settle for a form of ‘godliness’ that is not in accordance with His word, because we only deceive ourselves. Let us pursue Godliness daily in our lives and make the choice to access His life-changing power!
How do we go about that? Stop trying to look & sound Holy, and be Holy by applying the Word after we read it. Be set apart by being obedient, and trusting the same God that brought you through those moments in life where you thought you wouldn’t make it. God got you through, and will always get you through!
When my twin boys can’t get a toy out of reach, or spill food while they’re eating, I understand that they need help. Because of that understanding, and my ability to do something about it, I help them where they are and can’t do any more for themselves. With that same exact perspective, God loves you and understands exactly where you are. Let us humble ourselves and bring not only our lives but also our life issues, to Him. The moment I did that in my own life, there was no more confusion, and God allowed me to see the lies I bought into our Father-Son relationship that misled me in a variety of ways. Once I got clarity on our relationship, I decided to take action! I realized that God has been speaking to me, it just took me time to hear it, and now I am constantly renewing my mind by simply replacing the lies of our relationship with the Truth of His love.
In November 2018, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer, stage 4. Doctors literally told me if I didn’t start treatment immediately, I wouldn’t make it to my 33rd birthday. I hadn’t met my fiancé yet, I didn’t have children yet, and I felt defeated. I had done my research and didn’t want to do chemotherapy -- which meant not undergoing the treatment my doctors warned me to do to stay alive. I was so upset, I remember thinking, “I had a good run in life this far. Guess I gotta be thankful I made it to this point.” I was ready to throw in the towel! One Sunday after church, I spoke with Pastor Paul B. Mitchell about the situation, and do you want to know what he told me? He told me he feels like I should do it - I should go forward with chemotherapy. Another thing Pastor told me that was so powerful and kept me from being discouraged, was “God heals people in two ways: miraculously, and by the hands of man, so don’t feel discouraged if it doesn’t happen miraculously.” I have so much respect for my Pastor and regard his advice highly, so once he told me that, I decided to move forward with the treatments. That wisdom helped me in many ways I can’t describe in words…
To prep for the surgery, I had to have a port put in my chest. I thought I was going to have that thing in my chest for the rest of my life. The technician, who prepped me, said, “In six months, we will actually be able to remove the port”. It was so encouraging. I don’t know what made him say that to me - I perceived it was God speaking to me through him, giving me the gleam of hope I needed At that moment. I replied, “I receive that feeling-God presence.”
About a week later, it was time for my first treatment. A cab came to take me to the hospital. The driver and my dad were speaking Spanish the whole way there. Right before we got to the front of the hospital, my father informed me that the driver was a cancer survivor, and a Christian -- he had beaten prostate cancer. He asked me if he could pray for me, I said yes, and he did. I saw it as a sign that God was reminding me I wasn’t alone!
Once in the hospital, the nurse prepping me for treatment tried to explain the side effects, but honestly. I didn’t want to hear it. She persisted and began to explain that I may not be able to have children. That was scary to me because I always looked forward to being a dad someday. I didn’t speak about how I felt about it to her. Instead, I was standing on faith, and I wasn’t going to allow anyone to sow doubt into my spirit -- not when I had made it that far. Throughout that time, I didn’t allow anyone to refer to me as ‘sick’, and only a handful of close family and friends knew about my situation. On some days, I could literally FEEL their prayers strengthening and working in me...
I got through my 12-treatment course over the span of six months. The treatment sessions were broken up into 2 three-month cycles. At the end of my 1st cycle, I remember sitting in the treatment room when the doctor told me the cancer was no longer in my bone marrow, lower or upper diaphragm. These were the areas they found cancer in previously! I thought to myself, “All it took was one treatment cycle to knock this out?! I actually have a chance at living the rest of my life with just this first step of obedience and faith?” My doctor told me to finish the second cycle to be sure all the cancer was gone. I returned for surgery about seven months later, where the same technician was there and reminded me of our first encounter, saying, “I told you! I knew you’d make it through this.” It was so powerful once again to feel God’s presence.
I have been cancer-free since May 2019, met my fiancé, and in April 2021, I welcomed 2 healthy twin boys into this second half of my life. I am getting ready to soon celebrate their first birthday, and I am so excited! I’m excited because of how accountable my Father is of me, and how He met me where I was in life and helped me. Furthermore, I hope my story reminds you that God, your Father, is in control -- not your circumstance or situation. Trust Him, and believe in Him, because in Christ, You are in SAFE HANDS!
I love you, thank you for reading, and stay blessed!
Marcel D. is a loving Father, and a committed member of CLCC Ministries. Whether through our Men's Ministry (Great Men of Valor), our Young Adults Ministry (The Bridge), or our Media Team, he dedicates his time to serving others in the name of Jesus Christ. He has a passion for the community, and uses his experiences to promote God's faithfulness.
Thank you for joining us this week with our new writer, Marcel!
We hope to see you next week...
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Until then, be safe, be blessed, and be narrow...
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