The Best Choice for a Bad Report
Five months ago, I took Itty-Bitty to the vet, expecting a quick fix for what I thought was only an abscessed tooth.
My veterinarian sighed after opening Itty’s mouth. “I’m sorry to tell you this, but it could be cancer,” she said. “I’ve worked with this a lot. Or it could be really bad gingivitis.”
A few years ago, I would’ve cried. I would’ve been touched by fear, thinking about my first beloved kitty who passed away from cancer, projecting that experience into this one. Instead, I thought, Lord, what do YOU want me to think?
When God promised the Israelites a home that would be theirs forever, a land “flowing with milk and honey,” He told Moses He would send an angel to drive out all the occupants of the land. (Genesis 17:8; Exodus 33:3) It was theirs. All they had to do was accept His promise, go, and receive it.
So, Moses sent leaders to explore the land. After 40 days, the men returned to report what they saw. “It does flow with milk and honey,” they said, showing the fruit they brought back.
BUT there are all kinds of bigger, stronger people there, said most of the scouts. We can’t take that land. It’s impossible! We saw those giants with our own eyes. They’ll crush us! We’re outmatched. We’re outnumbered. (Numbers 13:26-29)
One scout, Caleb, interjected, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” (Numbers 13:30)
They all saw the same things.
The majority reported that the land was everything God said it would be, but, logically, obtaining it wouldn’t work. Caleb, however, decided it didn’t matter what the situation looked like. It didn’t matter that they didn’t know the exact game plan. He wholeheartedly believed they would win because God said so.
Because God said so.
We often look at our problems like most of the Israelite scouts.
This issue is way too big. I saw it with my own eyes.
The odds are against me.
But the report said…
I can’t do this.
I’m not strong enough.
This is going to end badly.
But is that what God says?
Nothing is impossible for God. He is strong enough. He is faithful. His promises are true.
To know what God has promised us, we must read the Bible. The more we read it, the more rooted it becomes within us. We develop conviction, and with that conviction, we can do as Caleb did—stop fighting the problem we see before us and instead receive what God has already promised.
My veterinarian reported what she saw. There was a problem inside Itty's mouth. I saw it too. But I knew Jesus defeated sickness and disease, and by His stripes, we are healed. (Isaiah 53) Jesus already won, and because of that, I decided Itty would too.
Receiving God’s promises doesn’t mean doing nothing. That morning, before I left for the vet, the Lord had led me to Proverbs 12:10: “The righteous care for the needs of their animals.” So, I asked my veterinarian questions, and we developed a plan for a dental cleaning and tooth extraction.
Still, we arrived at two different conclusions about the bump in Itty’s mouth.
Knowing that the power of life and death is in the tongue, I carefully selected my words and respectfully rejected her diagnosis.
“However long Itty’s in this world, she’s going to live a full life because I’m going to take the best care of her. And I trust you and know you’ll take the best care of her too.”
I didn’t exactly know how Itty’s victory would arrive, but I knew what God promised me, and His promises extend to my pets because He placed me in charge of them.
Before I left the exam room, I started praying aloud, speaking life over Itty. And out the door we went, rebuking sickness and disease and declaring the goodness of God all the way home.
You and I can look at the same reports—for our health, our families, our country, and more—and we can believe the attack and lies of the enemy or God’s promises.
Which will you choose?
I hope you choose God’s promises, even if you don’t know what those are yet, even if you don’t know how they’ll play out. If you choose God’s promises, Itty and I can help show you the way to victory in our next story.
Tami McCandlish is the author of Let the Bees Buzz: Finding Redemption in the Aftermath of School Bullying. As a writer, speaker, and businesswoman for the past 20 years, she has shared her story with thousands. She is also a fitness coach who has inspired thousands to healthier lifestyles. She and her husband, Charlie, live in Ohio with their kitties.
Follow her stories about faith, fitness, friendship, and felines at tamimccandlish.com.