For the days when worry clouds your vision

9:27 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Quotes about worrying and God Philippians 4:6-7
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)

My husband and I climbed in his car. 

We were barely out the drive when he pointed to a mess on the windscreen. 
“I’m so annoyed with myself that I didn’t get the bird poop cleaned off the windscreen.”

A few minutes later we arrived at our destination. We ate dinner together and then headed back to the car in pouring rain. 

We were minutes from home when Xylon pointed at the spot that had been dirty before.

I watched as the rain washed the windscreen clean and my husband said,
“We really shouldn’t worry about anything because God takes care of everything.” (tweet this)

He wasn’t just talking about worrying about a bit of bird poop on the windscreen.

He was talking about all the big and small things we worry about on a daily basis:

  • Will this cancer treatment work?
  • How am I going to get this work done?
  • Will medical aid pay these bills?
  • How will my boss react to this question?
I love what Philippians says about what happens when we let God know our concerns:
Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness,
everything coming together for good, 
will come and settle you down. 

It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (tweet this)

Christian quotes about worryAs we watched the rain wash away the last of the dirt I thought about how letting Christ displace worry in my life let’s my soul settle down.

The bible makes it so simple. 

Instead of worrying, pray. (tweet this)

Even when you don’t think of praying God is still there. My husband and I didn’t think of praying about some bird poop being washed off the windscreen but God still took care of it. 

This example of dirt on the windscreen seems trivial but that’s the point. If God cares enough to fix a small problem like that, then why do I waste even a moment stressing that he won’t come through on big things?

Ponder: Make a list of the things you are worrying about now. Then instead of worrying about those things start praying about them. 

Prayer: Lord, you know all the things I’m worried about. And you know how to fix them. Please come displace worry at the center of my life with Christ. Amen.  

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Is there a way to know if God cares about me?

10:48 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Does God care? Inspirational quotes and devotionals
Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? 
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. Isaiah 40:27-28 (MSG)

I have been troubled this last week. I really thought, after the stem cell transplant, all this cancer stuff would be behind us. 


It hurts on so many levels. There is an ache because he has to go through more treatment. It stings because I wanted God to have healed him. 

And it hurts because in some ways it feels like God doesn’t care. 

I’ve realised in the last week that at some point in my life I have come to equate God caring with doing what I want.

If it was a sum it would look like this:
My want + My outcome = God Cares

I’ve never really been that good at Maths but I recognised this last week that something doesn’t add up with that sum. 

I’m not really sure where I got that idea. It’s not something I’ve been taught but it’s something my heart has believed. 

My heart has believed a lie. And my lie has made God small. (tweet this)

My fib tried to make God fit inside a small box drawn by my wants and outcomes.  

Isaiah spoke truth to my heart this week. 

Why would you ever complain, Wendy, or, whine, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? 
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out.

After reading that I wondered how I could ever think that God could be contained inside the boundaries of my wants and outcomes?

How could I ever think that God should be limited to what I can see or imagine? (tweet this)

Does God care? Inspirational quotes and devotionalsAnd what ever made me think that God only cares about me when he does what I want?

If there were a formula to knowing if God cares I think this verse would put it like this:

His consistency + His Presence = God Cares (tweet this)

That sum doesn’t make God small. It doesn’t try and limit God to what I think his care looks like. It gives God space to create and act in my life. 

It is the kind of care that lasts.

It's the kind of care that goes beyond anything I can see or imagine. 

Do I want a small God who does what I want? Or do I want a big God who cares enough about me to offer his consistent presence from the beginning of time to the end?

I know my answer.

Ponder: How would you answer this question: Do I want a small God who does what I want? Or do I want a big God who cares enough about me to offer his consistent presence from the beginning of time to the end? Why?

Prayer: Thank you for being a God whose care lasts. Amen.

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The secret to finding hope

5:39 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Romans 5:3-4
 And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. Romans 5:3-4 (VOICE)

There are times in the last two years when I have felt quite hopeless. 

There have been moments when I have thought about giving up. 

There have been thoughts of “why us?”, “why now?”, and “why not us, right now”?

The thing is those times, moments and thoughts have never lasted long.

My husband says it’s because we’ve become “bad news fit”. He says it’s like when you’ve trained for a hard race, and then you do it, and you recover quickly after it. 

I think the bible might refer to it as developing endurance.  

Romans 5: 3 says that it is by celebrating in seasons of suffering we develop endurance. Other versions say, “we rejoice in our sufferings”. 

I struggle with that idea because I don’t think there has ever been a moment when I’ve been rejoicing that my husband has cancer, or has to have chemo, or has to go through another hard thing.  

Yet in all things I have tried to see how God is working. 

I have looked for the intersections where God’s word meets our everyday lives. 

And I have prayed that God will show us what he is doing when I can’t see past my worried heart. 

I’m not sure if that is rejoicing in our suffering, but it’s definitely helped me to gain perspective on hard things. It’s helped me to believe that our story is part of a bigger story. 

Quotes about God and suffering and hopeIt’s taught me to persevere – to keep going – when I feel like giving up

I persevere, not because I’m strong but because I believe that God is good. (tweet this)

I think that might be what Romans is getting at: not that I must throw a party when bad things happen, but that if I trust that God is good, despite hard things, that I’ll learn to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. 

Maybe there really isn’t a secret to finding hope. 

Perhaps hope is simply persevering long enough to expect God’s goodness to intercept our suffering. (tweet this)

Ponder: How do you react to suffering? Do you believe that through hard things you can learn perseverance?

Prayer: Lord, help me to see your goodness in hard times. Amen. (tweet this)

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How do I really love some people?

9:11 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

1 Peter 4:8 Love
Most of all, love each other steadily and unselfishly, because love makes up for many faults. 1 Peter 4:8 (VOICE)

I woke up to text message from my colleague that said, “Do you see what they are doing? Not sure I like it. They are leveraging off us.”

The messages went on and on. There was a lot of anger and a lot of fault finding. 

Once I got to the bottom of it, it turned out to be a small thing, something that doesn’t really matter in the greater scheme of what we do. 

It turned out to be a misunderstanding.

I’ve been thinking about how with love the whole text message scenario could have been avoided. Let me try and explain. 

I used to struggle with the idea of loving others because the concept of what “love” was seemed too abstract. 

What did it mean to really love someone? 
Or even harder to love someone who is always flying off the handle?
How could I love someone that others love to hate?

Then a few years ago I picked up a book by Gary Chapman called Love as a way of life. 

I realised love isn’t some ethereal thing that we can have or not have. It isn’t some feeling that directs us.

Love is a practical thing. 

Quotes about loveLove is a choice we make to be kind, patient, forgiving, courteous, humble, generous, and honest. (tweet this)

A choice we make every. single. day.

When I realised this, 1 Peter 4:8 became more than a nice sounding verse but something I could actually do. 

I could take small, practical steps towards loving others steadily and unselfishly.

I realised that I knew what kindness looked and sounded like. It wasn't an airy-fairy thing like love. Kindness was practical. 

I decided to try and choose to act out one aspect of love each day of the week. On Mondays I focused on being kind, on Tuesdays I wore patience like t-shirt, on Wednesday forgiveness was the language I spoke, and so on. 

As I did this, I learnt that love helps me to move past small things, love helps me focus on the people and things that matter.

Often when a situation is spiraling out of control – like the text messages – introducing kindness, patience, forgiveness, courteousness, humility, generosity, and honesty can diffuse the situation.

As I practiced love in practical ways I saw that love makes up for many of my faults and helps me to handle the faults of others.

Ponder: Is love a practical thing for you? What steps can you take today to become more patient, forgiving, courteous, humble, generous, kind, and honest?

Prayer: Lord, help me to love steadily and unselfishly. Amen.

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For everyone longing to be found (or imagine bumping into God on one of the worst days of your life)

6:19 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Jeremiah 3:2 Pictures about Grace
This is the way God put it:
“They found grace out in the desert, these people who survived the killing. Israel, out looking for a place to rest, God out looking for them!” Jeremiah 31:2 (MSG)

I don’t really want to write this. I don’t want to write about hearing for the third time that my husband has cancer. 

I had hoped to be tapping out words about how he was healed, how we could go on with life, how the cancer was gone. 

The reality is different. 

On Monday after waiting for results all weekend we were told that there are two active nodes that will need radiation.

I sat there numb. I’ve heard bad news too often the last two years to react with much more then a “What do we next?” 

Turns out the next thing is radiation for a month. 

So we’re stumbling back into the world of cancer treatment. I’ve felt more restless this time. I’ve felt more like I’m walking into a wilderness. 

This time I’ve been angry with God. I’ve asked God when this will all end, if we’ll ever sit in an oncologist’s room and hear good news?

And God replied. 

He didn’t speak to me, so I can’t tell you what his voice sounds like. And God didn’t speak to my husband. 

Rather he woke up someone I’ve never met. She wrote that God told her in the middle of the night to tell us that he loves us. 

As I read her words - out in my cancer desert - I found grace, I found God out looking for me.

God can bring lifeI was out looking for a place to rest, but God knew I’d only find rest in him. (tweet this)

I find it fascinating that Jeremiah 31:2 says that the one’s who found grace were not only those out in the desert, but those who survived something that sought to kill them.

I love the idea of God wondering around in the desert seeking out these hungry, wounded, hopeless people. 

Imagine bumping into God in a desert? 

It’s hard to envisage a desert with God there because with a command he can bring forth water and create shade. 

God can bring life into a desert. 

God can bring life into the worst scenario of your life. 

That’s how what I remembered after God woke up a lady to tell us that he loves us. 

God didn’t wait for me to be still enough to hear his voice he just woke someone else up and said, “Tell those kids that I love them.”

God came looking for me. (tweet this)

Imagine bumping into God on one of the worst days of your life? (tweet this)

It leaves me with such a sense of wonder, that God seeks me out when I don’t have the strength to find him on my own. 

Ponder: Can you recall a time in your life when God came looking for you? 

Prayer: God, I’m in awe that you would come looking for me. Thank you for reminding me that you love me. 

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This is for those who wait

5:40 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

God is good all the time
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. Lamentations 3:25 (MSG)

I’m not good at waiting.

Neither is my husband. 

He starts dreaming of a different life. I just try to continue with life as if nothing has changed. 

Yet, no matter whether we receive positive or negative results from the PET scan tests things will change. 

Dreaming and denial don’t change outcomes; they just help relieve the stress. 

From time-to-time in these days of waiting I’ll pick up my bible. I’ll flick it open to one of the passages I’ve highlighted with a pink tag, the markers that I put there in the first dark days following my husbands’ cancer diagnosis. I’ll read the verses that whisper if you open here you’ll find a reminder of God’s love for you when it’s hard to feel his presence. 

I thumbed my way to one of these pink tags the other day, and read the verse about how God’s love never runs out, but it was the verses that followed that made my heart pump hope. 

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks.

I found comfort in Lamentations 3:25 because I’ve experienced God’s goodness in my life so I know that God is absolutely good. 

In 1907 a writer by the name of Marcus Dods described God’s goodness in a way I like, 
“God is good in himself, good in all things and good at all times.” (tweet this)

When I remember God is good, I find it easier to trust him. (tweet this)
Lamentations 3:25
I don’t worry that a good God won’t come through for me. I am reminded of all the times in my life when God has shown me tenderhearted mercy. Unending love. Grace. 

Goodness.

God is good. 

God is for me. 

God will never leave me, hurt me or let me down. 

I can depend on the goodness of God. (tweet this)

I can rely on God’s goodness when things are going my way and when they are not. I can hope in his goodness if the medical results of positive or negative. 

So I wait, I wait to see what my good God will do next. 

This doesn’t mean the results will be good – or what I want – only that I can trust God will be good in every situation where I am waiting for an answer. 

Ponder: Do you believe that God is good? 

Prayer: Lord, show me your goodness while I wait. Amen.

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{Get the book}
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Is cancer (or any illness) part of God’s will?

8:02 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Revelation 21:3
I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighbourhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” Revelation 21:3-4 (MSG)

Four months ago my husband was in hospital receiving a stem cell transplant

It’s hard to believe if I look at him now. He looks healthy, we cycle together, and we’re both talking and dreaming about the future. 

Most of the time, for us, cancer isn’t a daily reality in our lives. And we like it that way. 

It’s hard to completely forget though when every month there are visits to the oncologist and today his morning is filled with a PET scan. 

The first PET scan since his stem cell transplant. It’s an important one and how we find out if the stem cell was successful, and if all the cancer cells are dead. 

It’s one of those things you know you have to do but you dread because you might not like the outcome.

We’re praying it’ll be clear. Is there really any other way to pray? 

Even praying, “Let your will be done,” seems traitorous and risky. I only want God’s will to be one thing: a clean bill of health from my husband. 

I’m scared to admit that, let alone write it. So often I feel that as a Christian I’m supposed to be accepting of bad things because it’s part of “God’s will”.

I believe God is in control. I have felt God holding me from the moment my husband was diagnosed, through 17 chemo’s and his transplant. I have witnessed God perform miracles when it comes to my husbands’ health. But I don’t think cancer is part of his will. 

God can use cancer to fulfill his purposes, but I don’t think God condones cancer. 

I think God hates cancer as much as I do. (tweet this) 

I find it pretty strange that cancer would be part of God’s will, when Revelations 21:3-4 says that when God takes us home to live with him forever there will be no sickness, pain or death. 

Sickness, pain and death: three words that could sum up the cancer experience for millions of people. 

hopeYet God chooses to have none of that in heaven. In fact, he hated those things so much that he sent his own son - Jesus - to die, so that we could live forever without sickness, pain or death. 

Jesus’ pain and death were used by God to ensure that one day there will be no more suffering. God didn't waste Jesus' suffering. 

I’m not sure why there is sickness, pain or death now. I wrestle with the idea that a good God can allow bad things to happen. I don’t have all the answers to why God needs to wipe so many of our tears away. 

All I have is, hope. A steady confidence that God doesn’t waste anything in my life - and that he definitely does not squander sickness, pain or death. 

All I have is the hope, that even in the face of things like cancer and PET scan results, I can be carefree before God because God is most careful with me

Ponder: Do you believe that illness is part of God’s will?

Prayer: Jesus, help me see beyond sickness, pain and death to hope that I find in you. Amen. (tweet this) 

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