Well, Christmas 2012 has passed with a blur … all the build-up and then POOF! … Christmas is over and we’re headed toward the New Year of 2013!
Cancer has given me a different perspective on this journey of life.
Too often we take our days yet to come for granted. Some are already looking forward to Christmas 2013 and starting to buy gifts and decorations during the after Christmas sales. Others, who simply don’t like Christmas … be it the religious aspects or how materialistic it has become … are already dreading next Christmas. But in both cases … the assumption people make is that there are still a number of Christmases in their future to enjoy or to endure.
In August 2011, I was diagnosed with incurable metastatic stage IV colon cancer with chemo beginning shortly thereafter for the rest of my earthly life … my surgeon at the time left my wife with the impression when I came out of surgery that my cancer was nasty and aggressive and I didn’t have long to live. Sixteen months later I just went through my second Christmas, the cancer is shrinking and I feel strong as ever. Thank you Jesus!
Yet as yesterday (Christmas Day) drew to a close, I couldn’t help but stop and reflect … was today my last Christmas? How many more Christmases with my family will I have?
Don’t misunderstand … this is not a depressing thought … it is simply a dose of reality I have rarely dealt with in most of my life … and I am indeed thankful for it. Rather than simply taking the remaining days of life for granted it has given be a greater sense of appreciation and gratitude for each and every day the good Lord gives me … even when the substance of those days don’t always reflect it.
The last sixteen months have been a lesson in the following passages of Scripture …
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” James 4:13-15 (NASB)
I have definitely come to understand that each and every single day and what may occur in that day for the glory of God … is ONLY as the Lord wills and directs my steps for the remaining days He has ordained for me.
The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9 (NASB)
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)
Lord, as this year comes to an end and a new one begins, may I become even more grateful for each and every day you have given me and may you be glorified in each and every one!
So from what perspective to you approach the journey in the life God has given you?