This has been of week of reminders that outwardly (our bodies) are wasting away. It started last Tuesday when my dear friend, Sara ended up at the Bowie Health Center with excruciating pain in her right side that turned out to be a dermoid cyst on her ovary. Then I got news that my neighbor and friend, Kim underwent emergency surgery and had been hospitalized for acute appendicitis and an appendix rupture. Sunday's church sermon was beautifully preached by Pastor Pat about our broken bodies, and my story of breast cancer was used as an example. I sent two care packages to women who are undergoing surgery for breast cancer this week. Then I watched a video of the amazing Tim Webster's recent testimony about the loss of his wife, Lara to brain cancer. This Saturday I will attend a memorial service for another friend, Bobby Snow that went home to heaven just last week after battling brain cancer as well. Frankly, I am overwhelmed by it all. The health concerns of my loved ones hit me in a whole new way these days.
However, I am encouraged by several things that I got from listening to both Pat and Tim. First of all, Christmas is proof that God is here and that He cares. My journey has undoubtedly taught me that as well. Just as He showed up as a baby born in a manger as was prophesied long before it happened, I have seen Him show up for every step of my journey. And His care for me and my family is unmistakable. Tim mentioned that the suffering of losing Lara has made him long for Jesus' return and to be in heaven. Although I cannot identify with his loss, I can identify with his groans and longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling (2 Cor 5:2). The affliction of my physical body that I have experienced excites me for heaven where there will be no more pain, no more tears, no more heartache. I believe it hurts God to see us have to endure the suffering that comes when our or our loved one's physical bodies break down, but I believe He also wants us to long to be with Him and bring glory to Himself through it.