He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3a

Monday, December 19, 2016

No Greater Love

            A good friend, some years ago, died from cancer.  She left a poem to be read by those who loved her.  It was a poem of peace and acceptance.  It spoke to our hearts and allowed us to both grieve for her, yet let her go because she was ready.  She was tired of the battle that raged havoc on her body and ultimately her spirit, as she dealt with the pain and reaction to all the medicine, radiation and chemo she had to endure while “waiting for the end.”

            Another friend passed from the disease about ten years later, and while she didn’t leave us any specific message to be read regarding her situation, those who knew her could picture her relieved that her painful journey was over.

            Not long ago I learned another friend has this affliction.  She’s a strong woman who loves the Lord, people, cares about the world she lives in and gives of herself unselfishly.  The news, it matters not how often I hear it, always breaks my heart.  The word “cancer” in some ways is like hearing a “curse word” given the way it affects my ears---and my heart!  It creates a battle not only for my friend, but for those who want nothing more than to spare her of the battle she is sure to endure.

            I’ve wondered how I’d react if I were told I had a terminal disease.  Since cancer runs in my family, I’ve accepted the possibility that I may contract this vicious illness.  The doctor says outright that I am at high risk.  I usually just try not to think about it and attempt to retain a positive attitude.  Will that save me from the problem?  Probably not, but it’s, in my view, the only way I can deal what might happen.  Besides, why borrow trouble and put myself in a pit of despair of something that hasn’t even happened…..yet!

            How must Jesus have felt knowing he was going to die a cruel death?  His feelings must have been intensified with the knowledge he would have to travel this road alone.  Even his disciples would desert him.  Despite these things, He also knew it was his Father’s will.  What a great love He had for us. 

It’s Christmas.  God gave his Son to reconcile his people to him; and did it in such a way many people waiting for the blessed event, missed it.   Jesus left his throne in Glory and willingly came as a tiny baby to be the salvation of the world!  I can’t even imagine what that must have been like!  Imagine---  Jesus;---  God; ---  God’s Son ----  became a human child, carried inside a mortal woman to be both man and God!  And we have the Holy Spirt---who is also part of the Triune God with Jesus, who had not yet been revealed to the world, was given to us by Jesus before he returned to the throne as a means for comfort and guidance when He would no longer be here. 

            Intermingled with the loneliness and pain Jesus must have felt when he went to the cross, there was also joy and peace that comes with acceptance.  He knew he was giving his life for us.  What an incredible act of love, this man, Jesus demonstrated.  What an incredible act of love our God demonstrated. He gave us the greatest Christmas present ever possible.  Can we do less than give our hearts in return?  This must be the greatest Christmas gift God can receive!