Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Only One Life, 'Twill Soon be Past..."

On last Wednesday morning at 6:40 am, this poster greeted me as I was pulling out of the garage to take Jenna to school! Isn't this such a sweet sign? It was the handiwork of our sneaky daughter and son-in-law, Jess and Mike, the night before. We didn't even have a clue what was going on outside though we were wondering why Julia and Jenna were so loud and giggly in the kitchen. We thought they were just having a good ol' time baking cookies & doing their chores rather than masking the sounds of the two busy bodies outside! That afternoon, my husband took me out for an enjoyable lunch at Applebees. (Thanks again to Jess and Mike for covering the tab!) We spent our time leisurely reminiscing over the last 20 years of God's faithfulness to us. Wow...time sure flies! And as we looked back on the highlights of our marriage, what came to mind was a quote Paul shared with me from the book he is currently reading called Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper.

"Only one life, 'twill soon be past;
Only what's done for Christ, will last!"

It is true that what is done for Christ is what will last because that was what we found ourselves recalling to mind-the joy of serving Him together over the years: when we were serving in the Youth Ministry before we were engaged, doing puppets in Children's Church Sonshine Street Ministry (you had to have been there at CBC in the 80's), discipleship relationships, the college and career ministry, ministering to the families in our home fellowship group, being part of the missions' team and those first CBC missions trips we participated grateful we are to have had the opportunity to serve our Lord and His Body, and it is with much desire & eagerness that we will continue to serve Him the rest of our days.

It's amazing how trials like this are meant and have the ability to keep us focused on what's truly important and lasting. During our family devotion time over supper a couple nights ago, Paul reminded us of Psalm 39:4-5:

"Lord, make me to know my end and what is the extent of my days; Let me know how transient I am! Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing in Your sight; surely every man at his best is a mere breath."

Through this cancer, the Lord has been gracious to show us in a very real way how transient our lives are before we live out long, full lives and find that we've wasted it on things that weren't so important. He's definitely gotten our attention. It's been purifying to say the least. Perhaps sooner than later, we will be no more. Are we ready to give an account of how we used the "mere breath" of our days to glorify Him? Hmm...don't answer that...let's just get busy!

The following is a link to an article that was passed on to us by a sister who triumphed through a bout with cancer, and it has greatly encouraged us. It's written by John Piper (and David Powlison) when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer entitled, "Don't Waste Your Cancer". We pray that it will encourage you to waste not another day but to live wholly for the glory of is for your good!

Here are the ten main points from John Piper/David Powlison's article, "Don't Waste Your Life." Click on the link above or copy and paste in your browser to access the whole article.

1. You will waste your cancer if you do not believe it is designed for you by God.
2. You will waste your cancer if you believe it is a curse and not a gift.
3. You will waste your cancer if you seek comfort from your odds rether than from God.
4. You will waste your cancer if you refuse to think about death.
5. You will waste your cancer if you think that "beating" cancer means staying alive rather than cherishing Christ.
6. You will waste your cancer if you spend too much time reading about cancer and not enough time reading about God.
7. You will waste your cancer if you let it drive you into solitude instead of deepen your relationships with manifest affection.
8. You will waste your cancer if you grieve as those who have no hope.
9. You will waste your cancer if you treat sin as casually as before.
10. You will waste your cancer if you fail to use it as a means of witness to the truth and glory of Christ.

By John Piper, Desiring God

Prayer Updates:
  • Paul will be having eye surgery today on his left eye! Praise God! It's the exact surgery he had done on his right eye back in Dec. Please pray for a smooth 6 week recovery and that the effects of his chemotherapy/radiation treatments will not interfere with his eye's healing process.

  • Please pray for continued protection of Paul's health. Last week, Silas had "pink eye" and caught my cold; this week, Julia has laryngitis. Praise God that Paul still hasn't gotten sick from any of us yet.

  • Did you notice Paul's new "do" up above? (He looks good, huh?) Last week, he suffered so much pain from scalp sensitivity...absolutely miserable! With much care, gentleness, and nervousness, I shaved my very first head ever! Paul felt so much better after and the pain eased up quite a bit...he's just got a cold head now!


WindSailor888 said...

Hope and pray you and yours are doing well. steve

Anonymous said...

Hi Arlene!

I was searching for this quote online and your blog popped up! Thank you for posting and for the encouragement. Hope you are all doing well.