How would you respond during very difficult trials? That is a question that many of us really would not want to find out the answer to. In 2009, Tracy started attending a Precept study called Lord I’m Torn Between Two Masters. As she studied and saw truth for herself, her life started to change.
Tracy describes this experience: “That study was so timely for me. When I joined the study, I was really struggling in my marriage. Being in God’s Word and applying it to my life and marriage was so transforming. My husband, Ronny, couldn’t help but notice the change in me. Our marriage was becoming restored and I was hooked on studying God’s Word. I signed up for study after study without a break for the next 8 years. I learned so much about who God is, but what settled deep in my heart was that God is always just and God is always good.”
As God restored Tracy and Ronny’s marriage, a foundation was being built for this family to go through a very difficult trial. In March 2017, Tracy and her family were preparing to go to Israel for a vacation. Five days prior to their departure, the family learned that their youngest daughter Eden, who is nine years old, was diagnosed with cancer and would have to undergo 13 weeks of chemotherapy. The news was devastating to the family.
“During that first night in the hospital, I wrestled with trusting Eden to God. All I could say over and over was, ‘I don’t want to lose my baby.’ But by morning, I stopped wrestling and gave Eden to Jesus, no matter the outcome. I felt Him with me. I felt Him saying that whatever we went through, He would be with us. I realized that placing her in His loving arms was the very best place she could be. And at that moment, I felt a deep peace for the first time that hasn’t left me since. I didn’t feel angry at all towards God. I knew from all the years of studying His Word that He is always just and that His goodness doesn’t change, even though our circumstances do change. I could feel His love for me and Eden, and for the first time, I truly understood the truth of how ‘perfect love casts out fear’ (1 John 4:18).”
Tracy, her mom, and her sisters are part of a Precept class with 16 ladies. As they studied God’s Word together, they were planting truth in their hearts and minds that would then enable them to give a biblical response in difficult times. In Genesis 18:14, the Lord asks Abraham, “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” Knowing the truth of God’s Word—knowing His character and His promises—empower us to respond well in the midst of trials.
Eden is still in her battle against cancer and the family is spending a lot of time at the hospital, but Tracy and her family are still making time to get into God’s Word: “While we’ve been living at the hospital, my sisters and I have continued on with our ladies Bible study, LORD, Only You Can Change Me. They can’t believe how perfectly the study applies to everything we are going through as a family! I am finally catching up with the study myself, and am amazed at how reassuring His Word is to me during this trial in my life. The last chapter I completed was called Meekness in the Face of Sovereignty. Psalm 131 really stood out to me:
Oh LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD
From this time forth and forever.
“I cannot change my circumstances. So instead of trying to fight for control, I’m just trusting in my loving Father to carry me through. He is in control and He has gone before us and prepared us for this difficult time. Though Eden’s diagnosis took us by surprise, both my husband and I have been equipped to handle this trial because of knowing God through His Word. Deuteronomy 1:30 says that He has gone before us and that He fights our battles. We just need to remember that He is the One that carries us through. We can rest in Him.”
This is the power of God’s Word in someone’s life. A family resting in the arms of the Lord while their daughter endures through her cancer treatments.
Tracy’s foundation in God’s Word has come through her Precept studies. This is the power of God’s Word when slowly unpacked with the tool of inductive Bible study. Lives are changed when we slow down, observe, interpret, and apply God’s Word to our lives. The mission of Precept Ministries is to establish people in God’s Word. Our vision is to see people who are established in God’s Word living as exemplary followers of Jesus Christ, studying the Bible inductively, viewing the world biblically, making disciples intentionally, and serving the Church faithfully in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Tracy’s testimony is a tremendous example of Precept’s mission and vision at work in Canada. Our hope is that through training workshops, distribution of Bible study materials, translations, and ministry across this country, that thousands of Canadians will build a foundation to be able to respond to difficult trials in their lives.
You can partner with us in establishing thousands of Canadians in God’s Word in three ways:
- Prayerfully consider joining our E-Team and sign up for ongoing monthly giving.
- Send a one-time gift that will be used to train and develop more Bible study leaders across Canada who will then go out and start new classes.
- Finally, you can diligently pray for the ministry, the team in Brantford, and the
thousands of Bible study leaders and students across Canada.
Thank you for partnering with us in this vital ministry here in Canada.
National Director, Precept Ministries International
Would you also continue to pray for Eden, Tracy, Ronny and the rest of the family? Eden is still undergoing her treatments and we are praying for strength, healing, and for God to be glorified in this trial. To read Tracy’s entire story, please visit our website:
It is through your prayers and God's faithfulness that we are on the verge of expanding the work of Precept like never before in the history of the Ministry. God gave us a vision to reach 30,000 new Canadians with Inductive Bible study. And we can see that it is truly His vision.
Have we met our goal? Not yet. But we are well on our way, and I know God will continue to be faithful as we follow His leading. Thank you for hearing God's call and partnering with us in this incredible opportunity.
Blessed by your partnership,
Mark Sheldrake, National Director