Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Facing Death

“Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't.” Richard Bach, author
We’re often confronted with the reality that life is short for some folks. God’s plans are not ordered by our human thoughts, and so, while early death is a reality, it remains a mystery to humans.

The Psalmist said, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Ps. 139:16. So whether or not you embrace Richard Bach’s philosophy, we have to trust God’s plan for our life. 
No one knows this better than my friend, guest blogger, and cancer survivor Venita McCart. Today, she shares the moment when she confronted the reality of death.
Thoughts We Remember To Forget
By Venita McCart
“He has set eternity in the hearts of men.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT
Here’s the thought: I want to live forever. Here’s the other thought: That’s not going to happen. Here’s the other-other thought…
I’m a writer; a thought-keeper. I journal, make lists, scribble on sticky notes, and paper scraps. I shall not forget anything profound. (Or more likely, slightly sensible.) I may need these thoughts for an article, devotion, or best seller. Okay, so I’m an optimist, too.
Do I want all my thoughts? No. When I changed doctors recently the little girl in scrubs said, “Be sure to list your medical history on these forms, especially details about your cancer.” I would rather just forget all the cancer stuff and I never really want to write it down. But I must.
I would rather forget other things too, like death. I once was an expert at forgetting it. Then the diagnosis came and death was in my face, but I ached so to live. My conflict within brought other thoughts I didn’t want: Aren’t you supposed to be a Christian? Shouldn’t you be okay with this? I am a Christian. But I had never been a dying Christian before. I was afraid. 
I called out to God, the best prayer ever: “Help me!”
Then I remembered Jesus spent much time and many tears in a garden praying, facing death he knew was coming. His soul was crushed with grief, like mine. He pleaded for life, like me. He anguished for release, like I did.
In prayer, with eternity in his heart, He found peace about dying…and the keys to peace for me. Jesus Christ went to the dreaded cross to give me the eternal life I crave.
Here’s the thought: I want to live forever. Here’s the other thought: That’s not going to happen. Here’s the other-other thought: Oh, yes it is!
Jesus knows your dilemma. If you are struggling with the fear of death because of cancer, remember the Creator and Saver of your eternity. Ask Him for His thoughts, for they are eternal, and they are for you. If you call, He will answer.

Venita McCart and the group she founded, Faith Force Cancer Support Ministries, has ministered to hundreds of patients since 2005 through group meetings, personal contacts, writing, and speaking. She is currently working on materials to comfort and encourage cancer patients, their loved ones, and to help others create support ministries. She and her husband live in central Illinois. Venita may be reached at venitamccart@yahoo.com.

If you have a prayer need, please share in the comments section or email me with confidential requests. Would you also take a moment to pray for other requests? 
Our prayer list for today includes several battling cancer. Please pray for comfort, healing, and strength. While you’re at it, pray for their families, as well.
·       Courtney, young mother with brain tumor
·       Emily, 12-year-old with bone cancer. Her body has responded well to the initial phase of treatment.  She still has a long road ahead.
·       Sally, who continues a 12-year battle against breast cancer
·       Lori, my cousin’s wife, with metastatic cancer
·       TC’s father-in-law, not doing well
Please lift up Karen Redding’s husband and children as they are grieving her death.
U.S. soldier Jesse McCart whose information is on a separate page above. Please visit that page for updates including contact info for him and other GIs recovering and rehabbing in the same military hospital in Texas. It would mean a great deal to these servicemen to receive encouragement. Pre-stamped postcards from the post office are a great method to do so on a regular basis.
Jesse McCart and men from his unit

I selected our worship song today as a tribute to our armed forces who have paid the ultimate sacrifice so we may enjoy the freedoms we have. "Finally Home," by MercyMe.
 God bless,

© Laura Hodges Poole