The Ugly “B” Word


But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God,

who gives to all generously and without reproach,

and it will be given to him.  

But he must ask in faith without any doubting,

for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea,

driven and tossed by the wind.  

For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,  being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

James 1: 5-8

My husband has been to the doctor several times in the past week. He went in because of chronic pain in his neck. The doctors have done X-rays, an MRI and then ordered a cat scan. Apparently, the MRI revealed swollen lymph nodes, the cat scan led them to call for a biopsy. That’s the ugly “B” word. It evokes fear and dread in people who are facing such a test. He goes in Monday to have it done.

His mind, I am sure went to all sorts of questions, as has mine. The biggest being, what if, what if the dreaded B word reveals the more dreaded C word? I am trying hard to not allow my thinking to go that way. I am encouraging him to not allow his thinking to go that way either.

We have prayed for peace and we have put it into God’s hands. Whatever the report of the doctors, we know the report of the Lord is greater.

So what do to while waiting?  This verse in James gives me a plan for waiting. To ask in faith for wisdom and not doubt. Wisdom to walk through whatever is next without losing faith. And He gives wisdom when we ask as long as we don’t doubt.  Being a double-minded man refers to our efforts to put value judgments on the things that come our way. A biopsy could be viewed as a bad thing or a good thing depending upon the news it delivers. But if we give ourselves over to trying to figure out whether this is good or bad, we become double-minded and unstable in all our ways. I can wring my hands and stress over the impending biopsy and move from faith to doubt, but if I do, I need to be aware that I may not receive the wisdom I have asked for from God.

Whatever the future holds, for me, for my husband, for you, God promises wisdom, His wisdom, for those who will ask Him, trust Him and not put value judgments on circumstances. Whether something is deemed good or bad by us doesn’t change the fact that God can use it and promises to do just that for our good and His glory.

Lord, we have put this in Your hands, we have sought Your peace and Your wisdom and the grace to keep from doubting. Thank You for being our Great Physician, Our Comforter and Ever-Present Help in time of need. Help us when our thoughts try to run this way and that way to bring them back into line with Your word, Your promises to us. Thank You also, for the times, when we are double-minded that You forgive us and thank You for not reproaching us, for not reminding us of our unworthiness. Amen.


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