Saturday, April 14, 2012

Misunderstand not sickness...

A friend of ours died yesterday.  After a battle with liver cancer, Dave knew that the time that remained for him on earth was short and that Jesus was waiting.  Our friend had accepted the Lord's will for him.  He even embraced it.  He willingly became a vessel through whom God would teach us all about how to die well.

Even as he sat in a wheelchair in a hospice facility, Dave's words described how God had been pouring out grace upon grace in his last days.  With joy lighting up his face, he shared with wonder about all that the Lord had been showing him...and all that He was doing around him...in the lives of the people who visited him and in the lives of the others receiving hospice care.  It was truly amazing.

And, the Lord was faithfully preparing him to die.  He shared with us the following words from Richard Baxter's Directions for a Peaceful Departure...and they have stuck with me:

Misunderstand not sickness, as if it were a greater evil that it is; but observe how great a mercy it is, that death has so suitable a harbinger or forerunner: that God should do so much before he takes us hence, to wean us from the world, and make us willing to be gone; that the unwilling flesh has the help of pain; and that the senses and appetite languish and decay, which did draw the mind to earthly things...

Dave's cancer...though terrible...brought with it sweet blessings.  Because he allowed it to, his disease became a tool in the hands of God to wean him from this world and prepare him for the next.  And, because Dave trusted the Lord, He became our teacher as well.

Suffering loosens our grip on this temporal world and causes us to yearn for the next.  Jude has shown me that over this last year.  Now, Dave has shown me that as well. 

Thank You, Jesus, that because You live, death no longer has the victory.  Thank You that the separation from the ones we love is only temporary for those who trust in You.  Loosen our grip on the things of this world, and teach us to set our hopes on things eternal.  May our lives be lived in light of eternity.  Amen.


Source: tumblr.com via Geri on Pinterest

5 comments:

amyfaith said...

sorry you lost a friend. thankful he is now with our Lord. how beautifully he is in you heart till you see him again. love & prayers continue from colorado.

jamie p said...

Thank you for sharing this Mandy! It has brought me a lot of encouragement today, in spite of the loss that it reflects for you, for which I am sorry. I work with cancer patients and get to witness many people leave this world for the next, and this is a wonderful reminder that it's not final for those in Christ- it is in fact just the beginning. Prayers for you and your friends & family as you continue to mourn your friend and sweet Jude.

*jamie pickett

Jen said...

Really needed your Blog music today. Thank you.

Deb said...

Thankyou Mandy. I sent this to my mom whose husband is in hospice now and nearing the end of his fight with esophageal cancer. I hope it will inspire both of them during this timed in their lives. Hope you are doing well.

Anonymous said...

I miss you.

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