A Friend of Jesus
WHAT MATTERS MOST
Updated: Dec 31, 2021
Trusting in the God of Miracles
A few days ago my sister posted a video on Facebook that took me by surprise. In fact it left me in tears. I'm not sure if it was buried grief or what exactly. I just know it was an unexpected blow to my heart. This morning I woke up to another unexpected blow to my heart. That same sister sent a text message saying she had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.
I am undone emotionally. To say my heart is broken doesn't even come close.
Anyone who has ever had a loved one with this diagnosis or any cancer diagnosis knows exactly what I am talking about.
I went to work this morning as usual. I had so much to do. I spoke to my boss who always seems to have a thoughtful insight. I value his counsel most days. He encouraged me to stay at work even though I did not want to. He said it would take my mind off of things. It was rough. All I wanted to do was get in the car and head to California. I feel helpless and useless.
As I started working on a project, I realized that I was working on fulfillment for a local cancer hospital's annual fundraiser. How ironic. Of course this didn't make things any easier, but it did cause me to wonder how a woman who has never smoked a single cigarette could get lung cancer. My father also had lung cancer and was not a smoker. Then I was reminded that disease and aging for that matter is all just a symptom of the bigger issue.
When God created man, there was no sin, no aging, no disease and no death. In fact God's plan was eternal. Adam's sin changed all that. To say he was warned is the truth of it. Because of one man's sin there is suffering in this life until it is over. Regardless of how good we are or what we abstain from, bad things happen to good people. God is sovereign and His will is perfect even when all we see is suffering and heartache. He uses it all for good.
I love my sister. I would trade places with her in a second, because that is what love does.
I am reminded that this is exactly what love did. God took our place because His heart was broken and He didn't want to lose us. Imagine Jesus' grief walking with those he loved knowing that they were all doomed to eternal separation unless He went through with God's plan of salvation. Can you see him in the garden in agony. The death he was about to endure was the most horrific imaginable. I'm reminded of Hebrews 2:9 "But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone."
Now Imagine Jesus joy when those He loves accept His sacrifice and surrender their lives to Him.
I found hope in these thoughts because my sister loves Jesus. My sister lives for Jesus. He is her everything and she knows that whatever He has in store, whether healing or heaven, it is His perfect will. I know this because she shines the light of Jesus where ever she goes. He has prepared her heart for her road, and prepared the road for her heart. She isn't alone, she has an escort who suffered far worse things so that she could spend eternity with him. He walks beside her, hand in hand.
When this life hits us hard and breaks our heart, there is comfort for those of us who know and love God. It is because of this sacrifice of love that we can be assured of the final outcome, heaven. It doesn't make the trials less painful, after all we are human and created to love and we do love deeply. The fact that we can cling to each other and to a loving God who is in complete control makes a thing like cancer another path we must travel. It is no less serious than heart disease or a stroke. It is part of the human condition. None of us can predict what will happen tomorrow, but we can know for sure that eternity without suffering awaits us.
Why should we fear what He has designed for us? If He has given to us a trial to walk through, we can be assured that He has also given us the strength to endure it, no matter the outcome. Our entire lives work toward making us strong and resilient. By design, everything we go through grows our faith.
I remember when a friend of mine was on hospice. Her son was saying that people would come to visit and she would invite them to lay in the bed with her and talk. He watched as his mother gave words of comfort to those who were struggling with her illness and imminent death. She was prepared because God had lead her through years of struggle, and he never left her side. She knew her savior intimately and so she could be a comfort to others when she was about to meet him face to face. That still blows my mind.
I do not know what the earthly outcome will be to this story, but I know when my life is over the only thing I want to see is my savior surrounded by my family who have gone before. Eternity lasts forever. We have always known that this life does not.
Imagine Jesus waiting to embrace you. What a great day that will be!
Hebrews 6:11 "We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized."
1 Peter 1:24-25 “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you."
Romans 5:18-21 " Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."