Tag Archives: cancer

A Chapter Closed-at least for now.

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Today a chapter in my book of life closed-temporarily.  Someone who I’ve become friends with over the years succumbed to the pressure of cancer and she has moved from her life on earth to her eternal life in Heaven.  Sweet Kathleen fought a courageous battle. The odds were against her.  Sadly, dear loved ones, including a husband and two children, are facing one of the toughest nights of their lives right now.

I knew Kathleen was coming close to the end of her life among us.  Two days ago I saw two deer in the neighbor’s front yard while I was taking a walk.  My thoughts went to Kathleen immediately. I wondered if her time had come.  It made me think of Psalm 42.  It wasn’t time yet.

Today I walked again and the cloud formation above me was shaped as a beautiful cross.  I wondered again.  How is Kathleen?  Hours later I learned from a friend she had passed.  

I had to attend a meeting following the notice and my thoughts were sad; my heart aching for Kathleen’s family.  I entered the meeting place and went to the open chair at the table.  As I began to sit I noticed something on the chair.  It was the metal heart shown at the top of this message.  I have no idea why it was there, but it made me think of God’s deep, wide and everlasting love.  He will not leave us not forget us. 

I didn’t have a chance to speak to Kathleen directly before she died.  Her husband and children wouldn’t know me very well, but I knew of her pride of them.  I would want them to know Kathleen touched my life in a beautiful way.  She made me smile and laugh.  She was a lovely woman.  She was part of a chapter in my life and I was blessed to know her.

 

Psalm 42- The Living Bible

42 As the deer pants for water, so I long for you, O God. 2 I thirst for God, the living God. Where can I find him to come and stand before him? 3 Day and night I weep for his help, and all the while my enemies taunt me. “Where is this God of yours?” they scoff.

4-5 Take courage, my soul! Do you remember those times (but how could you ever forget them!) when you led a great procession to the Temple on festival days, singing with joy, praising the Lord? Why then be downcast? Why be discouraged and sad? Hope in God! I shall yet praise him again. Yes, I shall again praise him for his help.[a]

6 Yet I am standing here depressed and gloomy, but I will meditate upon your kindness to this lovely land where the Jordan River flows and where Mount Hermon and Mount Mizar stand. 7 All your waves and billows have gone over me, and floods of sorrow pour upon me like a thundering cataract.[b]

8 Yet day by day the Lord also pours out his steadfast love upon me, and through the night I sing his songs and pray to God who gives me life.

9 “O God my Rock,” I cry, “why have you forsaken me? Why must I suffer these attacks from my enemies?” 10 Their taunts pierce me like a fatal wound; again and again they scoff, “Where is that God of yours?” 11 But, O my soul, don’t be discouraged. Don’t be upset. Expect God to act! For I know that I shall again have plenty of reason to praise him for all that he will do. He is my help! He is my God!

 

 

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When the cards you are dealt make you want to fold

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I started out ready to write about something completely different.  As I opened up the silver box and got my fingers ready to tap I remembered I haven’t read my Psalm for the day.  I decided that I needed to do that first  (I’ve been working hard at starting my day with God first and it’s been a challenge).  I came to Psalm 109 and it spoke to me.  I’ve struggled with a number of issues, this year particularly, due to a job loss.  I have friends dealing with financial troubles,  the loss of loved ones and dealing with way too many to seem possible health issues.  As I read parts of Psalm 109 I felt an energy to deal with it all.   I decided maybe someone out there, who might stumble across this blog, needs a lift too.

In the Psalm when I read about “them” or “those who attack me” I associate that with my issue “du jour”.  I’m not making light of that.  There’s just so much going on and I have definitely felt the pressure.  Sometimes I feel so complicated and tightly wound. I just want to literally unwind the springs that are restricting me to breathe and enjoy the beauty that surrounds me.  I admit it’s hard. Even for a person with faith in Jesus.  I do find comfort in the writings of the Psalms.  They help me put it all into perspective.  Some days it’s easier than others of course. But there is one repeated sentiment  in the Psalms over and over and over…God’s unfailing love…for us all.

So this is God’s blessing for you today-

Psalm 109: 21-23

But deal well with me, O Sovereign Lord, for the sake of your own reputation!  (Now that’s a sales pitch if I ever heard one)  Rescue me because you are so faithful and good.  For I am poor and needy (I’ve lost a job, a friend, a spouse, I have cancer, a blood clot, my body aches, I’m anxious, I’m depressed, I’m lonely, I’m…) and my heart is full of pain.  I am fading like a shadow at dusk; I am falling like a grasshopper that is brushed aside.

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Help me, O Lord my God!  Save me because of your UNFAILING LOVE.  Let them ( loss, cancer, anxiousness, depression…) see that this is your doing, that you yourself have done it Lord.  Then let them curse me if they like , but you will bless me!  When they attack me, they will be disgraced!  But I, your servant, will go right on rejoicing!

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But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord, praising him to everyone.  For he stands by the needy ready to save those who condemn them.

Lord, today help us to remember your UNFAILING love and give us strength to face the “thems”, “those who attack” , the curses and the pressures to give in to the lies that surround us.

 

How is your faith when life sucks?

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I’m kind of stuck on Psalm 107 right now.  I think I find my life on the same track of the people being written about at the time.  Throughout the Psalm people get in trouble and call for help.  God responds each time.

I have a friend who is facing cancer for a second time, and this time it seems worse.  Her husband is out of a job and has been for a year.  Her work is contract so she doesn’t add much into the income pool.  There is no insurance.  They are dealing with an older family member who is suffering in so many ways and have had to make the difficult decision to put this person in hospice care vs. trying to sustain their life through temporary fixes.  How do you console a person in this situation?  Is it trite to say God is with you and He is watching over you as you see them lose their hair to countless treatments of chemo or have painful surgeries and procedures to remove tumors?  How do you make them feel good about the fact they are out of work with no insurance, or about having to decide to remove life support tubes that could keep someone they love alive longer- though in a vegetative state.

This part of life really sucks.  I don’t understand it and I am working to accept that I never will.  When I look at my friend’s situation I don’t want to say God is with you.  I want to say this sucks and it isn’t right or fair.  It’s horrible and painful and my heart cries for you.

Then when I come around full circle I realize really the only thing they have that is a constant is God.  It’s not trite. It’s true.  The very last verse of Psalm 107 says, those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.  There is absolutely nothing in this earthly life that my friends, or I , can count on for sure.  Everything we think is so solid can change in the blink of an eye.  I know it from my own experience.  You know it from yours.  My friend has certainly learned it in her life.

In Psalm 107 the people cry out for help in different situations four times.  Each time God leads the troubled to safety.  What we have to remember is that His safety is different from what we perceive to be safety.  It definitely means change and it could mean that sometimes His safety is life in Heaven with Him.  That’s when faith has to really kick in.  Have you seen His faithfulness enough in your life to accept He has something better for you even when life sucks?  Is it there and you aren’t acknowledging it?  Do you need to do a check list of all the “coincidences” that occurred in your life that got you out of storms and brought happiness?  I do from time to time.

There is no place in the Bible that I have found that says life on this earth will be good.  There is a lot to suggest it hasn’t been and it won’t be.  Our faith is meant to be beyond this earth.  I don’t mean to say that things in this life aren’t good or can’t be filled with utter joy.  There are plenty of things that are and those are awesome moments.  I just mean that ultimately the best good we can imagine is found in Heaven- found through faith.  Psalm 107: 43- Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.

How is my faith when life sucks?  I’m working on it, but it’s leaning toward good especially when I remember to acknowledge how faithful He has been.  How about you?