A blog posted today by @paulphil entitled About Defining Moments caused me to think about a major defining moment in my life that has radically affected the way I not only view things but how I live.
I began to think in terms of "moments" when I sat in front of a computer screen in my empty house and learned I had a tumor that in all likelihood was cancer. It was. I have had unexpected moments like that before, an early morning knock informing me that my father had died, news of an accident, a phone call in the wee hours of the morning and so forth but in that moment I came face to face with my own mortality and I have never been able to look much further than a moment since then. Why? Because I really came to understand there is no promise that I will live in this world beyond this moment. None whatsoever. I had to make a choice that I believe we must all make. In my case the question I had to ask myself was, "Does cancer have me or does God have me?
When someone learns they have cancer, they find themselves knocked down onto the proverbial floor. They are completely overwhelmed with feelings of disbelief that this can't be happening to them as well as sheer terror as they are confronted with their own mortality. I have news for you. Generally people who boast (note the keyword I used here is "boast") that they are eager to look death in the eye so that they can be with Jesus are people who are not very likely to die in the near future.
As you are "sprawled out on the floor", one of two things happen. You either remain there or you force yourself to get back up again. Let me tell you that the getting back up again hurts. It hurts horribly and as soon as manage to raise yourself up a bit, you find yourself sprawled out again, face down, on the floor. So you try to get up again and again and again. Why? Because you realize that though you are dying... you're not dead yet and you are choosing to live this moment.
When I learned I had cancer, I had no idea of what my life expectancy would be. I had just celebrated a birthday. Would I celebrate another one? I didn't know. No one knew... except God. I didn't like my situation one bit and in fact, a few days later I would, as my friend Alison Stewart (@kiwibird) says, "go eyeball to eyeball with God", demanding that He do something about this immediately because this was not a part of "The Plan". It couldn't be. It just couldn't be!
It's today that you must be living.
This quote from the book "Christy" by Catherine Marshall floated through my mind. I said I wanted to live but in reality, if God was going to let me face cancer, I wanted to curl up in my misery and simply die. Cancer would teach me that it is far easier to die than it is to live and God had decreed that I would live... until it was time for me to go "home". I did not get to choose the when and the how. He does and if He decreed that I would live in this moment then I needed to do it whether I wanted to or not. If God said I had to live in this moment, then I had to accept that He had a reason for doing so, even if I didn't understand the why.
God often does not answer the question, "Why?" Anyone who has had a lot of experience with children knows that children generally are not seeking the answer. They want to change it to an answer that pleases them. We are no different. God could give us all the explanations in the world as to why someone got sick, why someone lost their job, why a marriage failed, why someonedied, etc and we still would not accept it. He knows us better than we know ourselves.
Instead we must learn to accept that God is God and He understands what we do not. For reasons often unknown to us, He has allowed us to encounter pain, suffering, sickness and even death but He is still with us. He has a plan, a purpose, for every moment of our life and we must take all of our moments, the bad along with the good and place them into His hands. Then we will see what God will do with them.
Sobering and true we each at some point in life will face our mortality. Even living with a an illness or situation which spotlights decay happening each second.
We can then truly fall before God and ask His help in "keeping" us moment by moment. As you state ... another is not promised and what posses each of us?
Thank you in Christ,
"I had to make a choice that I believe we must all make. In my case the question I had to ask myself was, "Does cancer have me or does God have me?"
I've been away for a few weeks so
I'm reading all my missed favorite bloggers! Your posts are amazing! What a story of faith. I closely followed the story of Joey+Rory and their faith was much like your, unwavering. Blessing to you! I love reading your stories.