Family dinners have always been important to us Coopers. Sharing a meal together at a favorite restaurant often overrides home cooking. But the whole idea is just for the nine of us to get together to celebrate something…from birthdays to anniversaries to a safe trip home from the Holy Land.
The Bible tells us that God’s people also loved eating together. They instituted feasts every time they gained a victory, enjoying times of holy fellowship. These feasts were the means to instruct their children and grandchildren to be aware of God’s goodness. We are also commanded to tell our stories to the next generation so they will set their hearts on Him.
A couple of weeks ago our family celebrated a miraculous answer to prayer for my husband’s business. The old saying, “You can’t fight city hall,” reminded us of our human limitations. Prayer was our only weapon. Miraculously, what should have been a day of intense legal arguments became a day of God’s favor. The way the Lord turned a destructive ruling around for the good of our business left us speechless. The answer came before anyone presented their arguments. It was obvious God was in control, as He overruled the power of the enemy. We found the proverb to be true:
Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God; he directs it to whatever ends he chooses.
What a victory this was! God answered our family’s prayers, so we celebrated over dinner that evening. All of us together around the table talking and laughing–celebrating the goodness of the Lord. God had actually turned things around like a boomerang. We experienced firsthand how the Lord is in the reversal business.
God turned into good what was meant for evil.
During biblical feasts God’s people ate food and gave gifts to each other. They really knew how to do it up right! As I watched thousands of people participate in the Race for the Cure recently, it dawned on me how little I celebrate my own God-victories. I listened to stories of women who were rejoicing in life, healing, and more birthdays by walking together in a race. Why wasn’t I out there with them?
Here I was a cancer survivor who never participated in the Race for the Cure. My choice was to forget the pain of my cancer experiences, not celebrate. But God shows us in His Word that a way to remember His goodness is to celebrate with others. For over 20 years I have personally and quietly thanked God for healing me and letting me live. But I have not ever planned a literal feast, or even participated in a public race.
It got me to thinking about a particular day in November when cancer was removed from my body, not only once but twice. You see, in the pain of a second bout with cancer, I forgot it it had been exactly five years to the day since my first surgery. For a while, I pondered the significance of two mastectomies happening on the same day five years apart, but it slipped my mind as the years went by. I should have been throwing a party every November 5th to declare God’s goodness to me. But I failed to rejoice with a Feast of Remembrance.
What will I do with all this revelation about remembering God’s goodness? First of all, I plan to walk in the Race for the Cure next year. I plan to tell my story. And I am determined to celebrate my healing come this November 5, 2010, which will mark the 20th anniversary of living cancer free!
Do you have any God-victories, any reversal of edicts that were meant to destroy you? Think about establishing your own annual feast of celebration. Make a plan to commemorate all that God has done. He longs for you to let others know, whether it’s been a reversal of something bad or just expressing gratitude for His perpetual faithfulness. We all have a reason to be glad! So throw a party, come on, come on, celebrate! (FYI, tonight is another Cooper Family Dinner. It’s time to celebrate an incredible Holy Land experience, another reason for family fun and fellowship, and I believe God will be pleased with the festivities!)