Late last night I received word that one of the guys in my singles’ ministry at the church I previously served had been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer that started in his stomach, went to his lymph system and now is in his bones (all this apparently over two weeks). Not surprisingly the oncologist has told him there is nothing they can do.
My friend is a solid, solid believer. Recently, after going to places like Egypt, China and Mexico, he and his wife thought of becoming missionaries. So committed were they to that end they downsized to a smaller house four years ago in anticipation of being ready to leave for mission-work as the Lord led them. Again, they are both great Followers of Jesus. I spoke with him this morning and through a brittle voice and constant pain he said he is humbled that God is using his cancer to impact so many people. He is also trusting the Almighty to heal him either by removing his cancer or taking him home, noting that whatever happens, “Blessed be His name.”
I was both grateful and humbled in speaking with him, and that he allowed me entrance into the blessing the Lord has for him in the present. I took it as a gift. (By the way, if you have a moment, would you say a prayer for my friend? Thanks.)
I also received an email this morning from a lady who has been attending my church. She considers herself a “seeker”, someone who is not a Christian but is kicking the tires on who Jesus is. She noted:
I wanted to share this with you and tell you that you and your community have made God and his Son “alive” to me in these last months and I have learned so much. I don’t know how else to describe it, so I use the word “alive” in the context that yes I knew about God and his Son Jesus, but I knew them as a “memories” so to speak and not as “alive” persons (and if that makes any sense at all to you, then you are truly blessed in deciphering me – ha!)
I used to say each morning when I woke up, God thank you for this day, but now I say this, God, please meet me where I am at, and now I’ve added this….God, I ask you to help me to know you the way you want me to know you.
Overjoyed at seeing a person sincerely trying to seek after Jesus, I thanked her for sharing her story, encouraged her to read the Gospel of John to help her in her journey and told her she would be in my prayers this morning. Then I concluded my note with my name preceded only by a Christian blessing so often found in the New Testament letters: Grace to you.
I was so pumped! This is why I do what I do – trying to help people both know and follow Jesus. With her response, my day only got better:
Yes I will read the Gospel of John, thank you for your suggestion, as well as your encouragement and your inclusion for me in your prayers this morning.
Grace back to you too! (I really like that phrase) and hope you have a good day!
Oh, if grace might alight upon the doorstep of her heart and she give it entrance what these words might truly signify someday! And grace has come to me today, in the form of two conversations!
In crossing paths with a friend seeking to glorify God in the throes of cancer and a seeker in the throes of darkness trying to find the Light of the world, I was reminded how this is what it’s really all about! Everything I do must revolve around a singular passion of knowing (and glorifying) God through the Person and Work of Jesus and helping others people both come to know and grow in the same.
Thank you Lord for the grace gift of those two conversations this morning and reminding me of what matters most.
It’s been a good morning.