Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Widow's Walk: Finish Strong

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.
Acts 20:24 (NIV)

When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, we were each overwhelmed for a few days. I was actually mad at God. Why would he put this wonderful man in my life only to take him away so quickly? I didn't understand and God and I had quite a few words about the subject. But each time, I would come away with a little peace and knowing that I was right where I needed to be.
On Sunset Beach July 2008
From the moment Mike became a cancer patient, his one goal was to glorify God. That man did some witnessing to others - not on a large scale, but one on one and in small groups. He helped form a prayer ministry at the church. He was a mentor for a young man living in a special group home who had come through the foster care system. And he made me stronger. He showed me faith in a way I had never seen before.

Each time we went to the doctor, Mike would surprise the doctor. The day he looked at Mike's scans after the chemo, the doctor kept looking at the screen and checking the name and all the information. He couldn't believe what he was seeing - there was no indication of cancer on the screen. Elation is a mild word to use to describe our excitement.

But even in that wonderful moment, the doctor cautioned us. Yes, Mike was in remission, which could last days, months, or years. At some point, the cancer would return. Mike smiled and said, "But it isn't here today."

As we left the doctor's office that day, it was a very happy place. These people see so much suffering. Word spread through the office about his remission. On the way home, I think Mike called everyone he knew. That night we even watched the movie the Bucket List, which had arrived on Netflix DVD. I had put it on the list before Mike's diagnosis. It was funny. It also showed two dying men, who were making the most out of the time they had left.

We went to our small group that weekend, Mike professed his desire to start witnessing to everyone about his remission. One of the men said that was great, but what would people think when the cancer came back? Where was the miracle then?

Mike was quiet for a moment and then he said, The miracle is today. I am here today. I should have died back in March and then again in April, but I am here today and there is only one reason why I am here. I haven't finished my work. Every single ordinary day is a miracle to me - that's what they need to hear. That is how people should be living their lives. They should be glorifying God. Nobody knows how much time they have - the difference is that I know I probably have less time than everyone in this room.

He was right and he continues to be right. He still influences my life because of the legacy he left with me. And while I would have loved to have had more time with him, I am so very thankful for the time we had.

If you're reading this today because you're going through a difficult time, pray for God to bring people in your life to help you. I have so many new friends and people that I can turn to because of what I learned through Mike. He taught me about faith and how to be a better Christian. He taught me how to live and serve. He showed me how to surrender, but I still struggle with that often. Surround yourself with the kind of people you want to be like. Open your heart and listen to what God is saying. God Bless!

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