For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)
Almost ten years ago my son and daughter-in-law walked into my house and said they had something to tell me. This wasn’t a casual visit, I could tell. I sat down on one of the sofas, and they sat across from me. They had come to tell me that my daughter had just been diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Without pausing to think, words popped out of my mouth: “God isn’t surprised.”
And with that announcement our family launched the support mechanism that springs into place in crisis. Some began researching for best doctors and hospitals, others made provisions for her two little girls, and we all put together a prayer campaign that spread around the world.
I sat with family members for the twelve-hour surgery that was part of Tish’s treatment regimen. With us was a sweet rabbi who read to me a Psalm that was used every day at his synagogue to pray for Tish. Each of us passed the time in terse conversation and responding to calls and emails for updates. And then I received a beautiful message from a clergyman in Rwanda: “This cancer may have a name, but we know the GREATEST NAME.” He had joined us in invoking that powerful name above all names, foretold by Isaiah, asking for healing.
That was ten years ago. This week I will accompany my daughter to M. D. Anderson for her regular check up and to celebrate the prayers that were answered by the One whose birthday we celebrate during this season. The greatest name, Emmanuel, God with us.
Father, all praise and glory be to you for your wonderful gift of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May this season of celebration be centered on Emmanuel who came to meet all our deepest needs. In his name. AMEN.