Benjamin Franklin once said, “The only things certain in life are death and taxes.” The author of the book of Hebrews wrote, “It is appointed for men to die once …” James also wrote that “like flowering grass, (the rich man) will pass away.”
We all will one day face the death of our bodies … it is an inevitable fact.
So last fall when my oncologist said, “Mr. Webb, your colon cancer is terminal” … well, in my mind … all of life in the flesh is terminal.
That medical pronouncement was not a definitive dictum that this leg of my life journey was over … only that journey’s end just may be a bit closer than it once appeared.
What I am now facing is just not that different from what my healthy friends are facing … only I now have a different perspective regarding my life expectancy and I also have a renewed sense of urgency about my remaining life and the tasks at hand.
There are two questions that are important to me …
- Who has numbered my days?
- What will happen once I die?
So often we (and maybe this is simply a self-confessional) live our lives like we have an unlimited number of days before us … today a veil of procrastination has superseded the first century sense of urgency held by the apostles as they expectantly and anxiously awaiting Christ’s return … a return they truly believed was imminent.
In my mind, that renewed sense of urgency is a blessing from God … even if it is brought on by colon cancer.
But I digress …
The first question: Who has numbered my days?
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. Psalm 139:16 (NASB)
So … long before I ever took my first breath or was even a glimmer in my parents eyes, God had already written all the days that He ordained for me in His book. God is not surprised by my cancer. God will not be surprised by my death. And what I absolutely must not lose sight of is that my Creator God has given me life … abundant life … on this earth with my wife, family, friends, church and Jesus until those ordained days have run their course.
And for that I am extremely thankful … and therefore since the moment of my cancer diagnosis, giving up has simply never been an option.
Winston Churchill once said, “Never, never, never give up.”
And it is only by the mercy, grace, love, hope, faith, provision, strength, divine inspiration and indwelling presence of God the Father, Christ Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit that I continue to be blessed and walk according to that mantra …
After all, who am I to argue with such powerful room mates in this temporary dwelling?
Thank you Lord!
P.S. Lord willing, I will touch on the second question later this week.