Andrew recently convinced me to watch 'Chef's table'. It is a Netflix original series on different chefs around the world who have restaurants that have been rated in the top 50 in the world. It is such a well done, beautiful show. They don't just focus on the restaurant or the food. They tell the story of the chef and his/her choices of food. And, they tell it with beautiful videography. My favorite one so far has been about Alex Atala. He is a Brazilian chef who runs the restaurant D.O.M. in São Paulo. In 2012, D.O.M. was rated the 4th best restaurant in the world. This episode tells the story of how he moved from Brazil to Italy in his teen years to pursue punk rock. During his time there he worked as a chef in a restaurant to pay the bills. He fell more in love with cooking than punk rock and decided that he wanted to pursue owning his own restaurant. However, he was Brazilian and wanted to cook what he grew up with-Brazilian food. It was hard for him because rice and beans were considered 'poor food' and he wanted to have an upscale dining experience. He moved back to Brazil and began going out into the Amazon for ingredients and finding the freshest herbs, plants, fish, and other ingredients. One of the stories they tell is of him going into a village where this little lady had made a dish that was popular in the village. It had ants in it so when he tasted it he pushed them to the side to try the sauce. It was delicious to him so he asked her what herbs she had used and she said, "Eat the ant". He repeated himself and asked again, "no, what are the seasonings?". She again replied, "Eat the ant". A third time he asked her and a third time she insisted, "eat the ant!". He finally eats the Amazonian leaf cutter ant and he said an explosion of flavors happened in his mouth. Chef Atala now serves gold gilded Amazonian ants in his restaurant.
I love this series because I love when people push to do what they love and tap into their talents regardless of if it is popular with everyone else. No one could have foreseen that this man would be able to build up a #4 rated restaurant with ants, beans and rice. But he did and he now sells it for $200 a plate! So just chew on that.
I have been thinking about this show a lot lately. Separately, I have had many people asking what they can do for me. My answer is always that I don't need anything other than prayer right now. I feel like most people think that is a 'nothing' answer. I wanted to say that prayer is the ant. All the other stuff is sauce flavored by the ant. What I am DOING is waiting on the Lord to answer the prayers I have sent up.
I am convinced after doing the research that there is no modern medicine, traditional or alternative, that can save me now. Some may make my days easier or more comfortable but it will have to be God himself who saves me. People keep wanting there to be something, anything, that I can do and keep asking what the seasoning is, but sometimes we just have to 'eat the ant'.
There are so many amazing stories in the Bible. I would so encourage reading the whole book! It is full of interesting things. Below I noted some of the stories that involve fasting.
1. Daniel is given a disturbing vision of war and he fasts and prays to the Lord to reveal what it means. This story is one of the most interesting and enlightening ones. An angel of the Lord shows up and explains that from the first day Daniel began to pray God had sent this angel out with a message to Daniel. The angel's 21 day delay in getting there was because he was held up in a spiritual battle with the Prince of Persia. He only broke free because the archangel Michael came and relieved him. (Daniel 10)
Here I would like to say to the team of people who have been praying and fasting for me once a week for the last month and a half-Thank you just isn't enough. I hope that the lack of healing so far has not discouraged you and that you know that the prayers of a righteous man are extremely effective.
3. Cornelius the Roman Centurion fasts and prays and an angel appears to him. The angel tells him exactly where to go to find Simon Peter. Separately, Simon Peter is on a rooftop praying in another city and he is given a vision and told that three men are going to come to find him. He is given instructions to trust them and go with them. The 3 men find Simon Peter, take him to Cornelius's house where there is 'a large gathering of people', Peter tells them the story of Jesus, and they all get baptized that day. (Acts 10. vs 28-32 condenses it but I suggest reading the whole of chapter 10)
Those who seek God will find him. He is, as one of my college professors used to say, a master chess player. He works out intricate and elaborate stories so that not only the person praying is answered but also a 'large gathering of people' is blessed as part of the story. 'Ant sauce', if you will.
4. King David sinned later in his life by committing adultery with Bathsheba and she became pregnant. He then also murdered her husband Uriah to cover it up. The punishment was that the baby would not live. King David fasted for days while the child was sick but the baby died never the less. (2 Samuel 12)
My friend Sally Miller told our small group about the death of her sister several months ago. She said that her sister’s healing was something that she prayed for more fervently than almost anything else in life so far. And while her sister did die to this life, God did heal her. That really stuck with Andrew and I. I think about it now sometimes. Whether I am healed from cancer and go on to live in this life or if I die and get my new body in heaven, I will be healed.
My friend Sara Sanders Simonetti sent me this link recently and I have watched it several times because I love the part of the song where Kari Jobe sings the words, 'Now death where is your sting? Our resurrected king has rendered you defeated!"
I do feel concerned about how I may take it if my next scan does not show my cancer shrinking or gone. I am afraid that I will be discouraged. God has given me so much peace already that I hope he will continue that.
Several people have commented that they are angry about me getting cancer. I am so absolutely wonderful and awesome in every way, that of all people in the world, I should be the last to have a terminal illness(their words exactly...). However, I am the perfect candidate. How much more sad would this be for someone who did not have the hope of the next life? How much worse for the children of a single mother? How much worse for someone who has no one to help them with meals, transportation to the hospital, or money for the pharmacy? I am so blessed with the wealth of America and friends who have jumped in to help me left and right. My kids have a great father and plenty of other friends and family who can stand in my place. If I do not go on to live here on earth, I will live again. I do not want for anything.