This is Good Friday. I am here at our local café with nothing but my computer, I ran out of the house this morning grabbing my computer at the last moment. I don’t have my cell phone, I don’t have my Bible. I am full of contemplative thought . . .
I officially introduced this blog in January. I am trusting God all the way believing that this blog is His avenue for bringing hope and peace for seemingly impossible situations. It is my desire that this blog is a blessing. If this blog can bless just one then my purpose is accomplished.
However, today I feel like the purpose of this blog has turned its blessing on me.
Last night I read two updated blogs that are listed on the right side bar. They both stop me; the only word I can think of to describe the effect they have on me is “reflect.” All of these blogs cause me to reflect, reflect on my life and the circumstances surrounding their lives. These people astound me and bless me to tears. Yes, even now my heart if full and tears fill my eyes as I type these words.
Little emilyannelove has simply grabbed my heart, I can not shake her from my mind. It seems I am praying continually for her and her family. emilyannelove has childhood leukemia and emilyannelove isn’t even two years old yet!
In the entry dated March 23, 2012, “Waiting for the other shoe to drop . . .”, the first paragraph reads:
“Monday’s news was a setback for all of us and the week since has been defined by waiting for the worst, which is not a cheerful state of mind for Emily’s family or friends. The reality, though, is that Emily has continued to be in relatively good spirits despite the introduction of an adult-level chemotherapy drug and going back on steroids. And we are very thankful.”
emilyannelove is on adult-level chemotherapy!! Adult level! I had adult level chemotherapy and I suffered from horrible side effects. And she is not even two yet . . .
Then yesterday’s entry, April 5, 2012, “Emily’s friends & family Care-a-LOT!”, Auntie Plum writes:
“The past two months have been incredibly difficult for the Love family as they adjust to the new normal Emily’s Leukemia has created. It has not been an easy road.
Aside from the physical hurt and emotional fear, the family has also been struggling with financial burdens resulting from Jason being laid off just before Emily’s diagnosis. Through the generosity of friends and family, the Love’s rent and bills for March and April were covered. But the road ahead remains shaky.”
Her daddy, who loves her with all of his heart and probably wishes he could take her place, does not have work and in place of fret and worry he not only dedicates himself to Emily but dedicates himself in helping raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network. He has a selfless love. And I wonder,
do I have a selfless love? Do I give of myself even when everything seems to be crashing down around me?
The other blog is “Restoring Hope for a Better Tomorrow.” Mike Fechner has stage IV, second recurrence lung cancer. Where many of us would wallow in self-pity or defeat, Mike looks at this as an opportunity to hold “Chemo Church” while being treated at MD Anderson.
Mike writes, “When we arrived at the Chemo ward for our three hours of treatment, the most amazing thing happened. The front desk, who all know me by now, spread the word around the entire ward that Pastor Mike was in his office in room 9. I long to encourage this amazing staff who cares for so many, so I always ask them if I can pray for them, and often give them a book that will bless them.”
In his most recent posting, “Chemo Church 4”, “As we were leaving the building another lady battling lung cancer saw me and I asked how she was doing. She asked me to pray for her last time we were together because she wanted to live but could not quit smoking. Today she shared that she was loosing hope because she simply cannot quit. I asked if there was any treatment that she could try to help her, I could see how desperately she wanted to quit. She mentioned a prescription that could possibly help, but with all of her other medical bills it was too expensive for her to purchase. I asked how much it was, and she told me. When I opened my wallet it was exactly the amount of money I had left to give for the week. Jesus gave His all for me to have eternal life how could I withhold the opportunity for her to have life? She is a petite lady about my age but she hugged me so hard my ribs hurt where I had lung surgery over a year ago. Later that day she called to say how she had almost lost Hope in God and humanity but this gift had restored her Hope in God.”
When I was treated for cancer I sure was not “other minded.” I was focused on myself and my getting well. I cared for my medical team and all of those who were on the cancer floor with me but I certainly did not think to minister to them.
To me both of these men, Jason and Mike, are reflecting Christ like “many mirrors.” They are not thinking of themselves and their dire situations but are thinking of others who are in even more dire circumstances. They are what I call “other-minded.” The are selfless and self-sacrificing men.
Selfless and self-sacrificing – Jesus Christ. I am nearing the hour of three o’clock in the afternoon on Good Friday. Three o’clock according to the Bible is when the sky grew dark and Jesus cried to His Father, cried for His Father as He hung on the cross unrecognizable, broken, bleeding . . . dying. And His death did come and the earth shook and the curtain in the temple ripped from bottom to top. This was a cataclysmic collision between heaven and hell and the earth was caught in the middle. What was, the law of sin and death, collided into what is, Grace. And God handed to all of mankind this new gift called Grace. A salvation that comes from grace and not of ourselves or by our good works. A gift that can not be revoked, taken back or cancelled.
What motivates both Jason and Mike? What makes these men selfless and self-sacrificing, giving themselves to others in the midst of their cataclysmic collision between life and death? What pushes these men who naturally want to regain control over and conquer their present situation? It’s this gift called Grace. Both of them said “yes” to this gift and now this gift is giving them the strength to persevere during the most difficult trial of their lives.
This gift was Jesus’ focal point in His short life. Jesus’ focal point was the cross that took up our infirmities and all our sorrows. We were destined for a certain spiritual death, an eternal separation from God. Our sin is the chasm that separates us from God. Through Christ’s death our sins are forgiven and His cross is our bridge to eternal salvation and living unashamedly in the presence of a Holy God.
How can anyone receive this gift called Grace? What does one do? You simply ask. You admit to God there is a chasm of sin between you and Him and you recognize what Jesus did on the cross for that sin and His cross crosses over your chasm of sin and brings you into the presence of God forgiven, whole and new. I asked, Jason asked and Mike asked. If you need the hope and strength that these two men exemplify all you have to do is ask and Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior will give you this gift called Grace, I promise.
(From Chief of the least blog)