Running to Home Base (Heading Home)
For almost five years you have journeyed with me. Since my diagnosis we have had many turns and unexpected events. But God has worked out His perfect plan as He always does.
Last fall after suffering a stroke, emergency surgery for bowl perforation, and a blood clot we, set aside chemotherapy and tried an alternative treatment. Our hope has never been in any kind of treatment, and our goal has never been to be healed of cancer. Although people sometimes say that we are struggling with cancer, let me set the record straight. I have never fought this cancer. My goal has always been to display Christ to know His calling in the midst of dealing with cancer. We have dealt with cancer as stewards for the Lord Jesus. My body and everything I own belongs to Him as my creator and my redeemer. That fact has colored all of our decisions.
It is now apparent that the alternative treatment is not working against the cancer, and in the last two and half months we have seen a rapid decline in my body. We have a strong sense that I have rounded third base and am headed for home base. So what does this mean to me? Let me share with you four things. First, I have set my heart to praise Him because He is worthy of praise. He is not worthy of praise because I am in good circumstances or bad circumstances. He is not worthy of praise because I feel good or I don't feel good. He is worthy of praise because of who He is. He is the Lord, High and lifted up. He is the creator and the sustainer of life. He is the redeemer who has made a way for us to God. Because of who He is, He is worthy of praise at all times and in all circumstances, and I have set my heart to praise Him, to worship Him, to honor Him no matter how difficult things may get for my body.
Second, I have asked the Lord to set a watch before my mouth and around my attitude so that I do not complain. I do not complain about when He is taking me or how He is taking me. He is God and He always does what is right and good and according to His perfect wisdom. Who am I to think that I have the right to complain before Him? So no matter how He ordains the days and weeks ahead, I have set my heart not to complain.
Third, like the professional baseball player, I have my eye on home base. I long to be with my Lord Jesus. I long to see Him, and when I come into His presence I will fall at His feet and hold His ankles and kiss His feet over and over and over again. And through tears of joy I will say to Him, ďThank you, thank you, thank you for pouring mercy on me!Ē The Lord Jesus Himself is on home base waiting for me, and I canít wait to see Him. And to be with Him for all eternity, never again having to live by faith but instead having the reality of His person right beside me.
Fourth, I am not going to get to home base by just looking at it. I canít just sit down and wait. Any baseball player runs with all his might to reach that home base. The race is not done. God still has work for me to do. God still has challenges for me to conquer by faith. God still has ministry for me, even as my body is failing. And I want to be faithful all the way to the end. And that means taking every advantage to influence others for Christ. That means pushing through the fatigue, pushing through the pain, pushing through the discomfort to pray, to communicate, to obey the Spirit.
And now my dear friend, I want to say a special word to you. I want to tell you as clearly as I can that there is nothing, nothing, nothing in this life that is worth the cost, and worth the sacrifice, except the Lord Jesus. Everything in life will fail: marriage, children, career, money, prestige, possessions, relationships, all things will turn to vanity. All things will fail you. Only Jesus will never fail. Only Jesus will stand by you in thick and thin, in peace and in turmoil, in feast and in famine, in illness and in health. Only Jesus will never fail. So I want to say to you, my dear friend, give your life to Him, dare to obey Him, dare to live in the reality of who He is, dare to believe that He is who he says He is and that He does what He says. If you will do, this listening to the Holy Spirit as He makes the Scriptures alive in you, then you will have your feet upon the Rock, you will have your shelter in the storm, you will have your reward that does not fade, and you will know the joy of the Savior.
Rejoicing in my Lord Jesus,
July 7, 2013