Tuesday, September 10, 2019
One early morning several years ago I stopped at the hospital to visit a good friend who was succumbing to the ravages of cancer. I had previously met with the family after they had heard the options from the doctor. After careful thought and prayer, this is what my friend posted on Facebook the morning that I went to visit him…
I am having a hard time trying to figure out when or how to make a final announcement to all my friends and family. I guess now is as good as it gets. As most of you know I have been fighting stage IV prostate cancer for almost 3 years now. Last Monday the 25th I was admitted for respiratory distress. My cancer has taken a serious turn and involved my liver and lungs. I am now experiencing liver failure and told I have 1 to 4 weeks left. I will be going into hospice care and letting the Lord Jesus take the wheel from here. I Love you all and just want to thank you for being part of my life and having impacted my life by being there. Everyone of you are special to me. I will monitor FB as long as possible but probably will not have a lot interaction from now on. Again I Love you and thank you for your love and friendship. God bless you all!
As I parked the car at the hospital the Holy Spirit led me to the one-hundred seventh Psalm. After some wonderful conversation around the bed with him and his wife, I read the first nine verses to him.
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
When I was done reading, we talked about how the longing of the soul is completely satisfied by the love of God. God’s love is not a response to our actions or attitudes. God’s love is not a response to our work to earn it. God’s love is not limited by circumstances. God’s love endures forever.
God loves us while we have cancer. God loves us while we suffer for any reason. God loves us no matter what the condition of the world or the economy. God’s love endures forever, and it satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with good things. God doesn’t promise to remove physical problems, but He promises to satisfy the longings of our hearts during the problems we face.
While everything around us may appear harmful, hurtful, and hateful, God’s love endures forever. God’s love is not delivered through any external event. Solutions to problems is not the means of receiving God’s love. Fixing issues is not the means of experiencing God’s love. His love is delivered through the life-occupying Presence of the Holy Spirit. Love comes from the heart of God into the soul of man to flow out of man. God’s love endures forever, not matter what is going on around us, because His love is within us.
What a joy to know that my friend understands this. What a blessing it is to watch his life influence so many others to discover the truth of God’s love. What hope it gives us all to know the truth of God’s enduring love as expressed by the Apostle Paul when he wrote in Romans chapter 8 –
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death…But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you…Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God’s love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!