Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Perspective

People have various responses when they hear that Ed has aggressive brain cancer. Of course, those closest to us mourn and grieve. Many have prayed for us, some even fasted, which blessed us immensely.

Often we are pitied. This is completely expected and understandable. Forty is considered young to be faced with a terminal illness. Our friends wish we didn't have to face cancer. Some have walked their own journey with cancer and know the heartache and suffering it brings.

But occasionally we meet an entirely different response - completely shocking because of its sheer opposite view.

Soon after Ed's cancer diagnosis, he met a business friend. After discussing the dim prognosis of glioblastoma, this friend, a committed Christian said, "Ed, I envy you. You may be near heaven."

I am not recommending that you tell every terminally ill person you know that you envy them. Especially if you don't mean it. But those words blessed Ed. Instead of pitying Ed, of mourning the years on earth he may lose, this friend had a Biblical view of eternity.

This earth is all we know and have experienced. This is where we have been born; this is where we fall in love; this is where we dream; this is where we make plans for the future. It is normal to live, love, dream, and plan. It is normal to seek happiness here.

But in looking at Scripture we find that there is far more to life than just what we can see.

The truth is that we are all diagnosed with a terminal illness and will all face death sometime.
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" (Hebrews 9:27)
The truth is that God is preparing a far better place for His children than earth. Imagine, the perfection of the Garden of Eden without the possibility of Paradise Lost.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (1 Peter 1:3-5) 
Some of you have shared your stories of heartache with me. I have no answers for the mental illness, abandonment, handicapped children, church problems, broken relationships, and more.

But the truth is that the worst pain we face now will dim in comparison to heaven.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
The truth is, for the believer in Jesus Christ, the best is yet to come. 
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Revelations 21:4)
The truth is that death is hard for those left on earth but not for the Christian who goes to be with Christ.
 "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain... For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you." (Philippians 1:21,23-24)
While we pray for healing and try to use each opportunity on earth for God's glory, I don't want to waste time pitying Ed or any other person who gets to reach heaven.

Because I know with certainty, that no one, not a single person, has ever sat in heaven wishing they had a few more years on earth.

19 comments :

  1. Very wise words and a wonderful post. God bless you and your family.

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  2. That is a very different way of looking at it. When Tim had his heart attack he told me that if he passes he would get to go home to the Lord. Of course this made me even more anxious but he is right. And so is Ed's business friend but I'm still praying for a miracle for Ed. I really want that for you all. Maybe I'm being selfish because I don't want to see families mourn. I don't know. But I do know that God's will is perfect and He will always be there for you all regardless if He heals Ed or takes him home.

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  3. I've been way behind in keeping up on my blogs, and only just found out about Trent and Ed. My heart goes out to you and your family. Bless you all, Gina. I pray that on this strange and frightening path in your journey together you will find whatever peace you can, and feel the strength and beauty of the love you have known together for so long to the very last moment, and until you meet again in the next place.

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  4. It has become so real, that we are just passing through, not here to stay.
    God bless you with grace and peace as you journey and face the realities of uncertainty and unknowns lie before you.
    Diane

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  5. So very blessed with this post. Amen! Our hearts grieve for the hard times you're walking through but we rejoice that God is in control. Truly, heaven is something to be excited about and what a glorious hope we have as believers! We have a daughter buried in Kenya and we rejoice that she has never experienced pain but only the presence of Christ. I have followed your blog for a very long time and have always been blessed by your heart. Even more so as you're being tried by fire. Blessings! Darla

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  6. Yes and Amen! God bless and keep you and your family!

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  7. Amen, bravo, and thank you! Now I scandalously have "I'll Fly Away" running though my head :0

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  8. I am so blessed by this post. I often tell people that sometimes I wish that I hadn't received my pacemaker. When my heart stopped that last time for such a long time, I experienced such perfect peace. I can't say I was in Heaven, but I do know that God was there and I was not afraid. People don't want to hear this. I know. Heaven will be more than we can ever imagine.
    Blessings always,
    Betsy

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  9. When I was very ill and certain I would prefer to die than face another moment of it, I had an awakening that has been with me since. The problem of evil (why do good people suffer and evil ones prosper sometimes?) has troubled me until then. While I laid helpless and in agony I recalled seeing a photo of a thin mother trying to feed her emaciated child from her empty breast. I, on the other hand, was in a hospital, surrounded by people who worked really hard to help me get well again. Suddenly, I was alive and glad to have even that moment. My bad experience was a reminder that I am loved, infinitely loved by God and the people who care for me. The rest is unknowable. I wish you all peace as you travel on this complicated journey.

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  10. I was just thinking about this last night-since heaven is a Christian's real home, why don't we rejoice when they finally get there? I do know that there are many hard things for those who are left behind. But one of the reasons the pagan world marvelled at the early church was because of the way they joyfully conducted funerals of departed Christians, realizing that they were now forever in the place where they belonged. Thank you for sharing this post! I know this season must be so hard for your family. God be with you in a deeper way than ever...underneath you are the everlasting arms!

    Love and prayers,
    Gabrielle

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  11. Your attitude is amazing and so right-on even though the people of the world think we're crazy for believing in such a wonderful afterlife.

    But don't give up - I have seen some astounding last minute miracles where no one BUT God could get the glory!

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  12. We recently lost a very close friend to cancer. She was in her 70s and when originally diagnosed the Docs gave her 5 mos., but she was with us 9 more years. She witnessed at every opportunity... to her Docs, nurses, acquaintances... everyone she could. Some accepted Christ and that blessed her heart and ours. We are not sure why God took her from the earth, but her funeral was a day of celebration and such a clear gospel message from ALL that spoke. Her brother and sister, pastors and some in the family... it was a blessing and a rejoicing. Her husband will be alone and will miss her terribly I know, but we all look forward to the day when we will join her and she has left behind a task for us to do as well... to carry on her witness for Jesus. You are right that we envy her in some ways. She is in the presence of her precious Lord and Savior and we have more work to do.

    We're praying for you and the children that you will treasure every moment till that day when Ed is called out of this world and into his forever home.

    Hugs to all!

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  13. Thank you , thank you. thank you I needed that encouragement so much. Those scriptures and the last sentence blessed my soul...and The Lord knows just how much I needed that ..Thank You Lord....

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  14. Thank you for sharing such truth, Gina, and also something that I needed to be reminded of here, too. Continuing to pray for you and yours! ~Eunice

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  15. Powerful writing, and great perspective. I believe God's timing is just, merciful and precious, even when we don't know the 'why's'. We can rejoice in that, as the Apostle Paul encouraged us to do.

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  16. Gina,
    A beautiful post. My prayers continue for you and your family daily. I work at a faith-based hospital and have you and your family on prayer lists. I also believe in miracles. They happen every day.

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  17. Hi Gina,
    I love your blog. I gain so much stopping in on you. :)
    You and Ed are always in my prayers. I have asked others to pray also. God bless.

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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