A friend, a fellow cancer patient, asked me if one ever gets over the apprehension that is always in the back of the mind and which suddenly jumps forward with every bodily twinge or change. Does one ever get over it? I'll repeat here what I emailed to her. Here's what I wrote with a couple edits here and there.
It may be a blessing to have cancer. No, it IS a blessing to have cancer for it forces us to stop assuming that all the world should be ours and that earthly life goes on forever into some imaginary "old age" of 95. My cancer has forced me to focus on the fact that Christ has defeated Death for us. And Death defeated is not Death to be feared. I Cor. 15:50-58.
So if death is not to be feared, then how do we live? The answer is that we learn to live in the "now". We enjoy the "now". We look around us in wonder at the richness of life and learn exquisite gratitude for the now. We find joy in trusting that even though the "now" is indeed precious and good, we trust also that the "eternal tomorrow" will be even more excellent, most stupendously excellent, for there will be no more tears. None. Nada. Only eternal joy to be first-hand in the presence of God.
And if Death is not to be feared, and if we are trusting God to be with us in all things, then in order to not fear and in order to trust, we must lay everything down and let go of our human desire to control the things of life. Our self. Our children. Our relationships. Our sorrows. Our fears. Our very lives. We must lay it ALL down at the feet of Christ where he sits on the throne at the right hand of the Father. Right there. At the throne. And we bow down in humble submission and grateful joy. Joy that can be found in Christ alone.
And so, today's Scripture:
2 Cor. 5:1-9
1For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven,
3inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked.
4For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.
5Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.
6Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord--
7for we walk by faith, not by sight--
8we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
9Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.