Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Upon which I Talk About Crossing the River

When we were young (half a century ago!!!) we thought our life paths would go straight forward to job, marriage, children, and far down the road it was almost old age and death. In fact, according to our youthful thinking non-thinking, old age and death would never arrive. It was simply too far away. Eons, centuries, and eras so far forward that effectively the day simply would never arrive. When we were young we were so busy thinking of "living" that we just knew we would never arrive at the "dying".

I hope you do not think I am being morbid. But, frankly, when you have been living with ovarian cancer for two years, unless you live in intense denial, you are quite naturally going to think about the end result of your nasty disease. At first with weeping. And prayers. And questioning. And googling. (Please note the order my way of thinking, prayers naturally have prior place to googling.)

All of this to simply mention (for those of my readers who have cancer) a blog I ran across a couple months ago. You see, cancer patients have much to offer other cancer patients. And so, today, I point you to a blog by Joe Hendricks and his wife, Heidi. When You Both Have Cancer is their story. They write with grace, strength, love, and courage.

And now I'm jumping back to my own blog. At our house we, too, both have cancer. Oh, Hubby's disease isn't specifically labeled "cancer". But the doctors tell us it is "like cancer". His "light chain deposition disease" has knocked his kidneys out...perhaps for the he's on dialysis three times a week as well as trying various chemo drugs to slow the damage to other organs in his body. Needless to say, his body is not happy about these medical events. Frankly, he struggles daily with the fatigue and pain and other effects of disease and drugs.

Hubby and I find ourselves in a strange place. We find ourselves residing in the land of the enemy (death) as we approach the River Jordan and the Land of the Promise. We take new joy in the words of that old hymn, "Shall We Gather At The River" for it reminds us of the words in the last chapter of the Bible.

Revelation 22:1-4 "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal,
flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb...."

and again in the previous chapter, Rev. 21:4
(God) will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death (our old enemy) will be no more,
neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore,
for the former things have passed away."

This is our hope. We rejoice in this promise. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, has taken our sins to the Cross where He died for us. In return He gives us His Righteousness. When we stand before God we are seen by Him as "clean, forgiven, justified, made holy" by the work of our Redeemer in giving us His Robe of Righteousness. This is a precious promise that we take "by faith" while we reside here but which we will experience in full on that final day.

P.S. You can read how Joshua led the people of Israel across the River Jordan into the Promised Land in Joshua Ch. 3.



ronsroad2recovery said...

Keep walking in faith. God will bless you and your husband. ~Whidbey Woman

Mrs. Spit said...

Sending prayers for peace and mercy.

Pranavam Ravikumar a.k.a. Kochuravi said...

Nice one. My prayers and wishes.

Persis said...

No more tears, no more sin, no more pain. What a hope we have in Christ!

God's grace in you and your husband is such an encouragement to me. God bless you both!

Sandy said...

Bless you. I know TJ & I were very busy living when he was suddenly staring death in the face. It was a shocker, to say the least, and we didn't even have have our "affairs in order". Fortunately we had the time to do that, but boy was it difficult. I know now how quickly death can sneak up on you and now live my life in a different, and better, manner.

Debby said...

I think that God gives us grace and strength to deal with this as we come up against it. Five years ago, I'd have never dreamt that I'd be pondering these things. But I have, and I've lost acquaintances, and I've wondered at it all. Step by step, I have learned to trust God's will, no matter what, remembering that he has plans to prosper not harm us.

I will pray for both of you.

Kelly said...

Nothing morbid about thinking of death at all. It's part of life. Having lost both parents when I was a child, I've never taken life for granted.

I like the order you listed. Considering all the misinformation out there, prayer should always come before googling!

I lift up all my internet friends in prayer, especially those who share needs.

S. Etole said...

What a hope and a promise ... however long, or short, our days may be.

Tina said...

Like Paul said "to live is Christ, and to die is gain". I've been working on building my faith and trust in the Lord through this trial of cancer. I can't say that I am ready to die yet, but I am working on having that deep trust that is needed to know that when God chooses to take me home it will be a joyous occasion, and those left behind will be comforted. I'm hoping I'll have many more years to work on it :)

God bless you and your husband. I'll be praying for you both.

Vicki said...

Thank you -I relate!

Denise said...

Thank you for such a beautiful post, grounding and full of hope. My mom will be starting dialysis soon, just had surgery for portal placement. I live with her, and hope to help her as much as I can (as much as she'll let me...she is very very very independent and "help" is not what she wants right now. I keep you and your husband in my prayers. God Bless

Glenda said...

Beautiful, hope-filled testimony of His grace at work in your lives! "He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater . . ." the old hymn says - and your lives say!

Linda said...

Thank you for sharing. Often I marvel at the strength we receive from the Lord to hold us up. Then I wonder how to those without the Lord make it through difficult times. Holding both of you in my prayers.

Laurie M. said...

I hate to think of all you two are suffering, but I'm so glad to know you have the hope of Christ. I'm not suffering in the way you are right now, but really, even my own lighter burdens would be unbearable without the meaning and hope He infuses them with. Living with Him now is the hope of living with Him forever.

Stuff could always be worse said...

This is a thoughtful post, I did think the same when I was young. I pray yalls health gets better!

Bill said...

I think about death all the time, because death is always striking around. I hope I don't have cancer. I don't know. I have many symptoms that go with a certain cancer but could be other, more minor issues as well, but, thanks to the good old USA health care system that so many want to kill Obamacare to preserver, after dumping somewhere between $100,000 and $150,000 into my insurance company, they dumped by forcing me out and now I cannot even find out.

Well, there is my rant for the day. I'm glad your faith helps carry you through.

Paula said...

Being close to death gives us perspective and teaches us the important things we must learn. I'm sorry that you and your hubby are going through this. Illness has a way of working magnificent changes in our lives. Not something we would have asked for...but blessings all the same. You are both in our hearts and prayers.