Thursday, July 12, 2012

Faith Is A Gift

It's just too much to bear sometimes. When it feels like the walls are closing in. This overwhelming pressure on my chest. The tears that fill my eyes and spill down my cheek.

Why must people suffer?

Maybe it is my humanity, my incessant urge to know why. To make sense of the senseless. To justify and explain things I cannot possibly know. As if knowing why would make it okay or any less hard to bear.

You assume, you hope, for the gray hair and the growing old. For the wrinkles and the grandkids. Maybe even great-grandkids. The time when your maturity turns into wisdom and you stop caring so much about what everyone else thinks.

But when your time comes is out of your hands. None of us know. And if we are looking at this world seeing it as all there is, it can feel pretty overpowering. Even for those of us who love the Lord and have a relationship with Christ it can feel pretty heavy and very sad to be the ones left behind.

Faith is a gift you can give to your loved ones. It is a peace that brings comfort in the hardest of times. The gift of a life that doesn't end here. A place reserved for you in heaven, a promise of seeing them again. The end of all suffering. No more tears.

My heart goes out today for my cousin, Jimmy. Since February he has been fighting a tumor on his pancreas. Today, they are moving him to hospice. He is only 42.

And my Mother-in-law, Yvonne, is back in the hospital. In January they found cancerous lesions on her brain, which they removed. Just last week they found cancer had spread to her spinal column.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

It is in moments like these that make me consider the end of my own story. The suffering of others that reminds me to appreciate every moment and every blessing. To be present and engaged in time spent with the people I love.

Have you considered the end of your story? In what does your faith and hope lie? You don't have to be perfect. Jesus wants a relationship with you. It doesn't matter what you've done or the mistakes you have made. His forgiveness is a free gift. His love does not need to be earned.
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:5-7

UPDATE: In loving memory…

My cousin, Jimmy Graham, passed away on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. He was 42 years-old.

My mother-in-law, Yvonne Willard, passed away on Wednesday, July 25, 2012. She was 60 years-old.

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