God's Answer to Worry
(In the Words of Karen Holmes)
by Ron Susek
©Golden Quill Publications
Some biblical truths lie dormant, awaiting the right season of our lives to bloom with significant understanding. Such was the case for Karen Holmes.
Karen holds two degrees in nursing: Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from Pennsylvania State University. Her husband, Dr. Brian Holmes, is a neurosurgeon.
On February 20, 2006, Karen, only in her forties, froze as Brian gently informed her of her diagnosis, "You have cancer, honey, and it's bad." Feeling life suddenly torn from her grasp, Karen entered a war she did not ask for.
It was during her two-year battle that a truth burst forth in full color for all of us to see. Here are her words:
"I believe that the key word surrounding the whole notion of worry is understanding. Let me clarify. God tells us in His Word what we are to do: 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding'(Proverbs 4:6-7), 'Do not be anxious about anything . . . the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guide your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.'
"These verses compel us to avoid relying on our own limited knowledge, understanding or awareness about the struggles that we encounter, because we really only see a very small piece of the bigger picture about our futures. When we worry, therefore, we are relying on our ownincomplete understanding about the issue before us, and we are not focusing on Him. We are, indeed, focusing on ourselves.
"Since receiving my cancer diagnosis, there had not been one day in my life when I hadn't worried about dying from cancer, or about having a recurrence, or leaving my children motherless. Not one single day. I believe the amount of time I'd spent worrying over the past eighteen months far exceeded all the worrying I'd done in my previous forty-four years of life! Let's face it; there is no cure for breast cancer. Yet, if it were not for the verses such as those described above, I would not be able to rise up out of the pit in which Satan carefully tries to entrap me. My "understanding" today of why I have cancer pales unequivocally to the Lord's bigger picture for my future. It is during the times when I try to understand what is happening to me, or when I dwell on the negative ideas about what could happen to me in the future, that my worry is the greatest. As soon as I realize that I need to focus completely on Christ . . . the One who creates perfect plans for my life (and yours) . . . and not rely on my finite understanding of the problem, the worry dissipates. Ironically, the peace I then experience is far greater than any peace I have ever known, for it is unquestionably the 'peace that passes understanding'-the peace that liberates me from my worries."
Karen's winter of distress brought forth a spring-time blossom of a truth that we need to lay hold of and enjoy: Peace does not come from natural understanding. It is a gift from God germinated by the Holy Spirit when we stop trying to be God and rest fully in Him (see Galatians 5:22-23).
Immanuel: God is with you!
PS Karen's words from her book He Provides the Shoes: Walking with God through Breast Cancer are used by permission. Her book can be purchased at
Amazon.com. Karen is an excellent speaker for church and women's events. She can be reached at: www.breastcancerandfaith.com
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