Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Superfluous Shoot

The gardener's sharp-edged knife promotes the fruitfulness of the tree, by thinning the clusters, and by cutting off superfluous shoots. So is it, Christian, with that pruning which the Lord gives to thee. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit." John 15:1 - 2

As Matt's fourth (? I've lost count!) post-surgery MRI is only hours away, I've been hit with a curve-ball of anxiety. Until now, I've gone into each scan, appointment, or meeting with little fear. I'm not sure what's different this time aside from two things:

1. With the exception of the first MRI (in the ER after his seizure) and diagnosis, we've gotten nothing but good, hopeful news. I am so grateful for this and am asking and wanting to believe Matt's complete healing. However, it's as if there is a part of me that is waiting for the other shoe to drop. There's a little whisper saying, it really is too good to be true.

2. The Lord is wanting to expose the lie, however small, that I am believing. Let me tell you what the lie is NOT first.

The lie is not: God will not heal Matt. I believe the Lord can and will heal Matt but even if He doesn't heal him on earth, he will be perfectly healed in heaven.

The lie is this: God is not good and He does not want my good.

This is the lie that tripped up Eve in the garden. This is the lie that has plagued humankind ever since. This is the lie the Father exposed through His Son on the cross. "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay his life down for his friends." How can we not see through this lie? "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will he not also with Him graciously give us all things?"

So, the Lord reveals the lie that a small part of me still believes. He uses the anxiety to remind me to be rooted in Him and His truth: if He is for me, what can be against me? He prunes the branches. He gets rid of the "superfluous shoot."


26 comments:

I run for said...

Praying for you sweet friends. Sending love and hugs from Austin.

tyler merrick said...

so good...all the way back to Eve and its the same technique the enemy uses today. the distinction you write about here helps continue to expose the truth in my own life and battle. thank you lauren and matt.

the way the two of you have lived and continue to live this out has meant growth for myself in these areas as well as many others. we're praying for you today.

Jonathan said...

God will do the inconceivable.... This obstacle that you's were going thru has fortified my faith in Christ....I'm 25 years old and love christ with all my heart and my life, I live to improve it daily thru christ but obviously our faith is tried and obstacles come but now thru you Lauren and Matt, I can attest that the storm is they're for a superior super natural purpose that we as Christ followers must endure... I love you's and my Prayers from florida will reach the almighty today... Keep doing what your doing, cause HES GONNA DO WHAT HE SAID HE WILL DO! ;D Peace in and Out... Your friend in Christ, Jonah Ramos-Ocala fl

(t)ruthfound said...

=) Thank you!

Tara-Leigh Cobble said...

There is so much grace in your wisdom. Love you both... praying steadily for you.

Amy said...

Thank you for being real and encouraging. I am praying for you and Matt today.

ashley hawthorne said...

Praying for you, Lauren! There are a whole bunch of us in Baton Rouge praying right now for you to be covered in grace and truth! You are loved.

Marilyn Yocum said...

Just to affirm.....I've definitely had that lie brought to my attention a few times since my husband's leukemia diagnosis. He is good to reveal these things to us, gently and in His timing, reminding us that He is watching out over us. He has the health of ALL of us in His sights. Lovely, clear post. (I followed a Twitter link.)

Zach Terry said...

Praying for you guys!

Jason Moore said...

Something the Lord has been pressing upon my heart the last few days is this: "There is nothing bad or evil enough to overshadow the goodness of the Lord." Not one thing on this earth could every take away how great God is. Therefore we have absolutely nothing to be afraid of, because our God, no matter the situation, will be greater. Pleading with the Lord on behalf of your wonderful family.

Amy H. Daniels said...

I love when God reveals the reason I pray at the times I do...woke up this morning around 6:00a.m. praying for each of you! Quite literally, I just remember waking up with all of you my mind - not yet fully conscious (and NOT a morning person), but the Holy Spirit kept bringing you to mind Lauren. It is pure joy to be able to walk this road with you even though we've never met in person. Mind boggling really! Just rest in knowing that God is able and God is always good.
One of your flock,
Amy Daniels

Bryan Goss said...

I had a tumor removed recently and am waiting on results as well. I have the same exact anxiety at times. thanks for sharing your fears and what the truth is. I am in the process of REALLY learning God wants good for me. I am always praying for you guys.

Lindsey said...

Thank you for sharing your inner thoughts concerning today's endeavor. Thank you Chandler family for being so open with us, your church family, throughout this whole ordeal. You all have been a pillar of hope and wisdom to me and my family; your growing testimony witnesses to my heart. God is good, and he will heal Matt. "He always keeps his promises perfectly" -Kids Vill.

Anonymous said...

I've listened to Matt from Atlanta for over a year now. As a young pastor, Matt's preaching has been a tremendous gift to me--his stories about you and your children and the lessons he's learned have been invaluable to my own, personal growth as a father and husband.

I've been praying for Matt's healing and your family's courage since last Thanksgiving.

From a complete stranger: thanks so much for loving and serving Matt Chandler so well! The Village is clearly thankful and members of far away churches are, too.

God bless you, Lauren Chandler!

~Matt F.
Atlanta, GA

Theresa Haskins said...

I can so relate to your note; although my fears were rooted in numerous catastrophic events that took place. There were many years when I expected bad news. Now, I remember HE is in control and somehow I will make it though (with His help!). I continue to pray for your family.

Kacy said...

Love you guys, praying for you today and always. Thanks for honesty, vulnerability, and a good reminder of God's truth for us.

www.abranchinthevine.blogspot.com said...

I have been so moved by your faith and the faith of your sweet family. Thanks for your tenderheartedness and realness. God is indeed getting much glory in your response to suffering. Please know that you are a blessing to so many and that you are being prayed for by so many people you don't even know. God bless you.

Ashley said...

Thank you for sharing, Lauren. Prayed for you guys today. So glad to hear good news! God's is good!!

prin said...

I so needed to hear that. My fear of God is becoming more of a fear than a love.

Will I love God if He takes everything I love away? Yes. But am I trusting God as I wait for Him to make me prove it? Probably not...

Praise God for loving us when we have no idea what that really means.

Colored With Memories said...

ah, yes. the lies!

have you ever read "lies women believe: and the truth that sets them free"? i think it is by nancy leigh de moss.

good stuff!

so thankful for yet another good report. yes, he will be completely healed in heaven, but i am thinking/hoping the Lord has much more use for him here on this side as well. praying that you guys will grow old together serving the lord hand in hand!

the gibsons

ps...jerry just started at redeemer seminary...half his Greek I class are villagers! he loves it.

Tigpan said...

This post meant so much to me. I cannot imagine the state of your anxiety. But I know that mine, too, was high this time around. I could not explain it, but I know that I was angry at myself for doubting. To know that I was not alone..Thank you for being honest...You, my friend, have been a beautiful example of Christ to me for so long - For that I can never thank you enough.
Love you much, and pray for you daily. _Amanda

casey chappell said...

This is so true and good for us to be reminded of. I find myself being paralyzed by fear of what's to come at times and I know the ONLY remedy for that is to feed myself the truth that no matter what HE IS GOOD and has my good at heart. If I could have that rooted in my heart each minute of the day even during the little things that happen, what a different life I would live.

thanks for sharing. I'm believing and rejoicing with you!!

Nikki said...

Wonderful post. I sometimes struggle with horrible anxiety — it seems to come in waves for me — this post & "the superflous shoot" concept will come to mind next time I am in that battlefield.

Nina49a said...

Your posts have been such a blessing:) Our family continues to keep you guys in prayer. Praising Jesus with you!

petrii said...

Lauren,
I have been following your story through the vlog's. Today when Pastor Matt referenced your blog I thought I need to check that out, and here I am.

Anxiety is something that I have dealt with a lot. It is not an easy thing to get rid of sometimes, but God has been teaching me that Trusting Him through it ALL is the cure for anxiety. So I am Trusting and casting my cares on Him. Wish I could do it before the firey dart of anxiety whisses at me, all the while I am putting up my shield of faith....I need to get my shield up quicker, or maybe just keep it up.....I am a work in progress =)

Have a Blessed day ~~ love, hugs and prayers from MO,
Dawn

Jess said...

Thank you. Four months ago my 5 year old daughter finished 28 months of treatment for Leukemia. She gets checked every 4 weeks right now. The first two months were pretty peaceful, then last month I was one hot anxious crazy emotional mess, and this month peaceful... I never know what triggers, and I've struggled to name the fears. Trust. Trust in the Lord...