by Kathryn Dyksterhouse
“We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds.” -Psalm 75:1
Throughout Scripture, there is a reminder and command to recount the deeds of the Lord. In fact, that’s really what all of Scripture is, in a way. The passing along of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and working in His people from generation to generation.
This morning, I read an account of Lacey Madden. She has just learned that she has another brain tumor, but is in the difficult in between of finding out just what they are dealing with and what their course of action will be. And she sees this “in between time” of waiting as a gift, allowing her to rest in the Lord and recount His goodness to her and His great sovereignty in her life. And I was convicted. I tend to wallow in the unrest. I focus on the problem instead of the Great Physician. I worry instead of trust. And I busy myself with distractions so I don’t have to face the difficult.
I have been a bit reluctant to recount God’s wondrous deeds in my life. Not because they don’t exist (far from it!), but for several other reasons. First (and maybe most sinfully), I am afraid that, as soon as I declare healing out loud, that I will fall ill again. Maybe it’s superstition or a fear of falling into pride and over-confidence, but it is a true fear. But to say that I am well TODAY is a fact. If I become sick again tomorrow, it will be important to remind myself of the healing that God saw fit to allow in my life for a season. And if I am healed forever, it is imperative that I remind myself and declare to everyone else that it is God who allowed healing. He rescued me from the pit and restored life to me. And I want to pour out that life that I have as an offering to Him.
Another reason that I hesitate to tell my story is this: God’s goodness is NOT tied up with my healing. If I had suffered for another 30 years, I have complete confidence that God would be orchestrating that for my good and His glory (Romans 8:28). No, God’s goodness is not tied to my healing, BUT my healing IS tied to God’s goodness. It is out of his mercy and grace that He saw fit to allow healing in my life. And for that reason, I want to tell of what He has done for me.
Around April or May of 2018 (I’ll have to consult with Kim Pillow, our unofficial keeper of all records of events), an army of friends gathered around me at the then-new home of Trey and Elizabeth O’Brien. At the time, I was unable to digest my food properly due to an adhesion (scar tissue) disorder. And the problem was cyclical - in order to cut the scar tissue away, surgery would have to be performed, creating more scar tissue and more problems. Some of the best doctors in the southeast were shrugging their shoulders and saying that they could see the problem, but had no suggestions about how to rectify it. I was feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. And then my friends gathered around me and prayed. They (you!) prayed for healing and answers and peace. And in the coming weeks and months, that’s exactly what I received.
I won’t bore you with the details (although I’m happy to tell you if you’re curious!), but the bottom line is that the healing that seemed so impossible that night was gifted to me. It has now been about a year, and I am just now allowing myself to admit to myself and others that I feel great! Better than I have in years. I am thankful to the doctors and physical therapists along the way who performed successful procedures and offered advice. I am thankful to the friends and family who provided encouragement, helped care for my children, prayed with and for me, and were faithful companions to me along the way.
And as for me, “my mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone. O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come” (Psalm 71:15-18).
God healed me from my physical affliction. And just like those adhesions that had covered my abdomen and were cutting off life-giving nutrition, sin had formed a suffocating web of control and God has miraculously saved me from its grip, too. True life is a gift from the Father and I will praise Him for every breath I take, because it is all given as He sees fit.
“As Asaph ‘remembered’ the Exodus by reading Scripture, so we have even more Scripture. We remember not only all that Asaph remembered, but things he did not know: the Exile, the return from exile, the long years of waiting for the coming of the Messiah. We remember the Incarnation, the years of Jesus’ life and ministry, his words and mighty deeds. Above all, we remember his death and resurrection, and the powerful work of the Spirit at Pentecost and beyond. And as we remember, our faith is strengthened, our vision of God is renewed, and the despair lifts.” (D.A. Carson from For the Love of God.)
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalm 106:1)