Death Has Lost Its Sting

bee

Image courtesy of SweetCrisis at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I don’t want to freak you out if you’re a hypochondriac, but did you know that having cancer cells in your body is normal?    Even healthy bodies produce thousands of cancer cells every day.  However, since our body’s immune system  is designed to manage and kill these cells, many people don’t actually get cancer even if they have cancer cells in their bloodstream.  It’s basically when your body stops working properly that it allows cancer cells to grow and create problems.  In that regard, cancer is a symptom of your body’s immune system not functioning properly.

Similarly, we all have a sinful nature running through our veins.  Some of us choose to pray and trust God to help us overcome it.  Others allow that sinful nature to chew at their soul until there is nothing left…like a cancer.  You might then say that sinning is a symptom of a malfunction in our relationship with God… similar to our body’s immune system malfunctioning and not protecting us from cancer.

There is a song that we sing in church called Marvelous Light, by Charlie Hall that says, “Sin has lost its power, death has lost its sting…”  Since we sang that song last week, those ten words have constantly been in my mind.  Not being able to shake the thought, I figured I would write my blog about it this week and work it out on paper. Then maybe I could stop it from repeating in my mind all the time.  It’s way cheaper than a counselor and much less inconvenient!

I’ve had a lot of people check-in on me to see how I am and how things are going.  I have been happy to report that as a result of prayer and God’s protection, I feel great!  I truly have peace that surpasses all understanding.  I realize though that there might be some tough days ahead; I’m human.  However, I am blessed by the way God is taking me through this and I am convinced that I have peace because God, my spiritual immune system, is at work in my life.  I am overcoming my need to focus on woe is me as a victim and am being shown how God is taking me through as a victor.

We all have a choice.  Do we allow the sin and dark thoughts to win or do we stay focused on God and trust Him when we face a challenge in life? The words, “Sin has lost its power” have come to life for me this past week.  It is not worth it for me to fall into the darkness anymore and not trust God.  To me, that would be sinful.  I have tasted of the sweetness of my Lord and Savior and no matter how much I must suffer, I will continue to call on God to protect me.  Sin has lost its appeal.

Whether I overcome my physical issues is irrelevant.  God’s plan for me is unfolding and whatever the outcome, it is His will for my life.  He is teaching me in an intimate way that I can trust Him through EVERYTHING that this life leads me through.  I don’t have to succumb to my carnal ways and entertain fear and anger; rather, I just need to trust and believe.  If I win the physical battle, I will praise Him for healing me.  If I lose the physical battle, I will praise Him for seeing me through to the end.  Either way, I see it as a win…death has lost its sting. When you know this life isn’t your home and there is something waiting for you on the other side far greater than you could ever imagine, it is easy to praise and thank God for whatever challenge you might be facing.

I’ve said having cancer is like wrestling an alligator.  Some days you’re on top and others it whisks you to the bottom of the swamp before you know it.  However, even the bottom of the swamp can be OK when you know the Savior Who created the universe and everything in it has your back.  So today I choose to follow, trust and give Him my life whatever that may look like for the rest of my days on this earth.

If you don’t have a relationship with God that you know He will see you through anything you face, pray and ask Him to come into your life today.  Ask Him for ways to overcome the sin and temptations that you may be experiencing and take away the fears that cripple you.  Trust Him to see you through…all the way to the end.  As His servant and witness, I can truly say, “He is faithful.  You can put your trust in Him.”

1Corinthians 15:55-58 (NIV)  “Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Psalm 56:3-4 (NKJV)  Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.  In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?

If You Would Like to Enjoy the Song, Marvelous Light, Click Here!  *

*Disclaimer: Since this directs you to YouTube, I cannot be responsible for the advertising the video might have previous to it playing.

Don’t Delay…Go Do Something!

This was the view after Mike’s memorial at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego.

I noticed several of you went to my site last Monday for a new blog and were probably surprised to find nothing new there.  I apologize for not writing last week.  However, I got a call Saturday night that my brother, Mike, was dying.  My sister and I hopped on the first plane out the next morning to San Diego.  We were able to get there in time that he was at least able to flutter an eyelid and moan enough to let us know he knew we were there.  For that I am grateful.  He died peacefully in his sleep Monday morning.

As much as I wanted to get online and tell you all what was happening, I simply had no words.  Mike and I were very close and his leaving this earth brings a huge void in my heart.   I am assured that he is in heaven with Jesus now though and I know that peace of knowing will comfort me like nothing else can.  I appreciate the online well wishes, cards, emails and phone calls from many of my friends.

I know I’ve written about this before but here I go again.  During the past week, I was reminded once again of how important it is for others to reach out when someone experiences a loss or has an illness.  The simple acts of picking up the phone or sending a card speak volumes to those in pain.  There were special friends who just came and sat with us.  They didn’t need to have words of wisdom.  They simply sat in the living room offering a hug here and there when needed.  Others brought in meals…comfort food one might say.  There were of course condolences shared on Facebook  that were simply overwhelming with the outpouring of love shared in volumes.  We all felt loved by the actions of others throughout the week.

There is a not so pretty side to all of this as well.  It’s painful when you know someone close knows about the death and doesn’t call—maybe because they simply don’t know what to say.  There are others who loved my brother but are now wracked with guilt for not keeping in touch prior to his death.  I heard many say, “I had meant to call or stop by, but I just got too busy.”  Now they will live never having the opportunity of saying their goodbyes.

I am just as guilty as everyone else.  I know there are people I should’ve reached out to by now and haven’t.  This was a rude awakening to once again listen to that still small voice that tells you to go do something.  You don’t need to know what to say.  It may even feel awkward.  It’s OK.  Those on the receiving end will help you.  Life is too short.  Don’t miss the opportunities to be a blessing to others.  For when you are a blessing to others, you are blessed in return!

Thanks for hanging in there with me!  I will try to be more upbeat next week in my writings.  But just in my usual style…what you see is what you get.   These are the things on my mind this week.  Have a blessed week and go be a blessing!

Matthew 5:4 (NKJV)  Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.

John 13:34-35 (NIV)  “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

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