“When the Rubber Meets the Road”

“When the Rubber Meets the Road”
December 2023

“Your daughter has cancer.”
These were not the words we were expecting from the surgeon after he had operated on our beloved, young adult daughter. In fact, they were the very opposite of what we thought we’d hear: “the tumor was removed and it’s been sent off for testing and we’re mostly certain it’s benign.”

We reeled from his words. He had gone in, removed just an inch for pathology purposes, and quickly got out of there so as to not disturb anything else.

We processed the words in shock. I asked my husband if it would be all right to call a chaplain. Where I had been in this hospital area many times before; as a nurse, nurse educator and pastor, I did not now know how to minister to us.

The chaplain came. She heard our story. And she prayed. She powerfully proclaimed that God had saved Rachel before and He would save her again. She spoke words of life and hope that “no weapon formed against (Rachel) would prosper.” (Isaiah 54:17)

And “we know that God is working all things together for good for those who love God and are being called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

We sat there holding hands and wept as she pushed back our fear with her strong words from our strong Savior. Then we went and saw our daughter and the three of us wept together as we continued to process the doctor’s words.

And, yet… We hoped. We rose up in faith. We declared that what appeared to be one thing would in fact be another.

During the long, agonizing week that followed, as we awaited the results of the biopsy, we fought the fear, we pushed down the doubt, with the Word of God.
The Bible. Scripture. And the people of God, our dear church family, also prayed, and fasted and prayed, and brought food too. It was such a great comfort to us.
All of us called forth the word of God for this hour of need.

Hence the title of this blog.
Dear Readers, may I encourage you, beseech you, implore you, to please make it a daily habit, (or at least a few times a week), to read the Bible. Please.
Get the Word of God into your gut.

Or as the Psalmist in 119:11 says, “I have hidden Your word in my heart…”
There’s an old saying which is, “Where the rubber meets the road…” This is “the point at which something is put to a practical test.” For Christians, it is our faith.

When you hear news that is impossible, unfathomable, incomprehensible, what are you going to do? Will you have enough of God’s Word stored up within you to bring these powerful words to mind to battle the fears and doubts which will try to overtake you?

On our Christmas tree is a heart shaped ornament which reads: “With God nothing is impossible.” (Mark 9:23) I daily spoke this over Rachel’s life. He is the God of the impossible. He could make this diagnosis something else… something that might appear impossible.

This verse, along with the ones mentioned above, along with others, became my daily mantra. As a beloved advisor friends of mine said, “Don’t let your mind get ahead of God’s grace.”

Those are additional wise words to hide in our hearts.
We must trust God. When the rubber hits the road, we must have an arsenal of spiritual weapons with which to engage in spiritual warfare.

If you don’t have many, many Scriptures hidden within you, ready to bubble up at a moment’s notice when needed, start now! Read the daily devotional suggested Bible verses. Follow a good Bible reading plan. Read the section of Scriptures from the messages every Sunday. Find a spiritual parent and start reading sections of Scripture together and discuss them regularly. And pray together.

Join a small group, a life group, if you haven’t already.
“Where the rubber meets the road” has its origin in the literal sense of the phrase, referring to the point of contact between a vehicle’s tires and the road surface.

Will you have “stored up treasures” within you to give yourself and others hope, when most needed? It’s not something you can suddenly stash away. It’s got to already have been deposited, maturing, and growing within you.

We received the good news, the grand and glorious news that her tumor was indeed, NOT CANCER. It was, instead, a fibroidmatosis. Praise God and all glory to Him!

When going through trials, keep worship going too. “This is how we fight our battles.”
There’s a King’s Porch song I kept proclaiming too: “I have a hope, I have a future, I’m a child of the Mountain Mover.” (“Faithful Still.”) I rephrased it: “Rachel has a hope, Rachel has a future, she’s a child of the Mountain Mover.”

May you begin a new year determined to store up more of God’s Word in your heart.
Then, as needed, when the rubber meets the road in your life, you’ll be prepared to surge forward in faith and hope and glorify God.

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
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