Tuesday, September 8, 2009

There's Obsessing and There's Observing

Sometimes I wonder if I am dwelling too much on death. That the talk of death makes this blog a bit depressing. Actually, I'm not dwelling. But it might seem that way to those reading my blog. (To me, "dwelling" connotes "obsessing". And in spite of what you may think by reading my notes, I am not obsessing. Merely observing and making comments."

In my posts, I am not dwelling on death per se. I'm dwelling on the hope that we have in spite of death.

We all face physical death. Sooner or later. From the moment of conception in our mother's womb we are moving forward relentlessly. Moment by moment. Each moment brings us closer to the end of our life here on earth. We live in "time" and that's how "time" works. I'm not dwelling on death. I'm not morbid about all that. I'm simply observing and stating fact.

I think most people begin to recognize their own mortality at some point in their lives. As young people we "know" that "old people" die. And now and then, younger people die in accidents. We know that. We see that. But it's always about "them" and never about "me".

However, at some point it becomes an astonishing, "Hmmm, I, too, am going to die! I am human like everyboy else. Everyone dies. And I, too, will eventually die." But even in that first recognition our mind adds, "Someday!". And "someday" always seems a long way down the road. And we think we still have unlimited years ahead of us. And so we blithely go on, never looking seriously at the death that sin has brought into the world. As descendants of Adam we inherit his condition of sin and death. And not only us, but all of the world. All of creation groans, waiting for the time when death will be no more. (Rom. 8:22) (place your cursor over the scripture to read)

But at some point in our lives, if we are fortunate, we begin to see that "someday" is closer than we thought. And in seeing that, we begin to grasp more clearly how rich is the hope we have in Christ Jesus.

I see my cancer as a blessing. Oh, I'm no Pollyanna, thinking everything is "wonderful" when it is indeed not. Cancer or any other major illness is no sweet deal. Everytime I have a twinge of discomfort somewhere in my body I wonder. And everytime I have blood tests or CT scans, I'm anxious to hear a good report. I don't know what lies ahead of me and I wonder. And, yes, I worry a bit. I confess that. As I said, I'm no Pollyanna.

However, I believe Romans 8:28 where Paul says, "All things work together for good for those who love God." And since I cannot see into the mind of God, I have to settle back into my life and into my "now" and relax a bit, letting God deal with my "tomorrow" and provide for "my good". When I do that, take my mind off the "what ifs", then I can relax and enjoy the moment right in front of my nose. And I know that the "good" that He works in my life is spiritual and real and eternal.

Someday death will be done away with. Christ will effectually end death. (I Cor. 15:54,55; Rev. 21:4) And I live in that promise. Even though I (and you) will walk through the "valley of the shadow of death", we do not walk alone and we have the promise that in Christ we live. We have life in Christ. He has taken our death to the cross and in exchange He gives us His life. Eternal life. (John 5:24)

So, then, how do I live in the here and now? I live by faith. Believing and trusting that God has everything under control. No matter what. No matter how it appears. No matter the circumstances. No matter how my days will go. No matter the troubling thoughts that cancer can introduce into my mind. I take one day at a time. And while I want the best treatment possible and while I try to check all possibilities in regards to treatment options, I refuse to obsess about the "what-ifs". There's really no point in doing that.

I just rest. I rest easy. In Christ.


Elle Bee said...

It's so cool how I can read those scriptures without navigating away from your blog.
Lovely post.

Diane said...

I've started the prep work for the 1 Peter study. He has a lot to say about dwelling on our future hope and inheritance, rather than on the current circumstances, as a way to make the current more bearable.

It's natural to think about death, but for us, it's really a release to our real home, our real, eternal life.

Daria said...

I think talking about death takes away some of the fear in it ... for me anyways.