What comes to mind when you read the word “wild?” Perhaps the word “crazy” came to mind, or maybe “untamed?” Have you ever used “wild” to describe love though? Probably not. Or if you have, perhaps in regards to a whirlwind, youthful romance? What comes to mind if I tell you that God’s love for you is wild? Wild meaning unrestrained, enthusiastic, untamed. God love YOU wildly. No matter where you’ve been, where you are, or where you are going in life, God is crazy about you. He wants a relationship with you. There is nothing you can do to make him love you less. There is nothing hidden from him; He knows our darkest secrets and fears and he still loves us. He wants to give us a future and hope beyond our “wildest” dreams. His ways are not our ways….they are so much better.
I woke up today feeling like I was on the verge of tears. I felt empty and defeated. Recently, I’ve met a few people who have been on their cancer journey for years with recurrences. I still don’t know if I have metastasis in my femur. For the most part, I have set in my mind that my body WILL heal and I haven’t allowed myself to even think that this may be a long journey. My tissue expanders are uncomfortable and I’ve been hearing stories from others about problems with their implants. I’ve had to face the facts that discomfort and cancer may be the proverbial thorn in my flesh. I am human and the burdens of this life get to me like anyone else. I could have sulked and allowed myself to have a pity party. I could become bitter towards cancer or God or life in general. I could….but I chose not to. I laid in bed, cried a bit and talked to God. I looked at my verse of the day, but it really didn’t speak to my heart in that moment. Then I did something I don’t usually do first thing in the morning…I checked my Facebook. Upon opening it, I saw that I had a message from a dear friend whom I happen to be named after. She had been thinking about me and praying for me this morning. God put an article on her mind that her pastor had written several years ago when he was diagnosed with cancer. She shared the article with me and I quickly clicked on the link. The article is titled “Don’t Waste Your Cancer.” In the article, the author expanded on John Piper’s 10 points regarding not wasting your cancer. Suffice it to say, God knew EXACTLY what my disheartened heart needed to “hear” this morning.
I have and still see this diagnosis as a blessing. It certainly isn’t one I would have chosen, it is not easy, it’s not pretty, but it is still a blessing. Cancer has caused me to really examine my life, to appreciate how fragile and fleeting this life is, to re-prioritize my life, to live with intentionality rather than just going through the motions, to find joy in the little things, to be more compassionate. During this journey, God has shown up…no that’s not fair, he has always been here, I’ve just been too busy to ask him for help, to TRULY cry out to him. This has given me a chance to make my request known before him and for him to be able to reveal himself to me. His love for me was, is, and always will be wild. He is growing me into the woman I have always hoped to be. He is using this journey to bless others, to draw others back to him. If I never heard “you have cancer,” if I was never crushed (oh it was a crushing blow) or if the pressures of this journey were never applied to me, I wouldn’t be exuding the aroma of Christ. I would still be going through the motions of life, going through the motions with little intentionality. I would be a stressed out mom and wife who was going nowhere fast.
I’m still not sure exactly where I’m going but I know that I’m GOING, and that’s a start. God has caused the kindling of my walk with him to fan into a fire. I hope that fire roars wildly. I hope it is evident for all to see; not for my sake but for the sake of those who see it. I want my life to make a difference for eternity. The point that really hit home in that article was the 5th and 6th points and the fact that “Cancer does not win if you die. It wins if you fail to cherish Christ.” I will admit that I have been so obsessed with healing this cancer and putting it behind me that I have allowed my passion to heal this cancer to overshadow my passion to grow in Christ. I have been pouring over cancer books, medical journals, articles, studies, you name it, in looking for ways to help my body heal. I have not been spending near as much time pouring over my Bible, devotional, or books that will help me grow in my relationship with God. I have allowed my desire for healing to become my idol. God gently brought me to this realization and it is something I need to change. I need to love God as wildly as he loves me….or try my best! I also need to love others as wildly as God loves me! I still have so much room to grow….oh so very much. How much more beautiful would this world be if we believed we are wildly loved? If in turn, we loved God wildly and loved each other wildly?
I will leave you with the main lyrics and video to this beautiful, truthful song:
Your love, a mighty river
Your grace, a raging sea
Your mercy knows no measure
As it crashes over me
Cause Your love is wild
Cause Your love is wild
Fire in my soul
Your love is wild
Greater than I know
And I’m coming alive, coming alive
And it’s beautiful
Cause Your love is wild
There is hope for those in darkness
For the broken and the shame
You give beauty for these ashes
Who can fathom this exchange