Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Either Way

“For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14:8, NIV 1984).

“We’ll get through this, either way.”

Charlie is a soft-spoken, Christian physician and friend of mine, believed by many to be the best cardiovascular anesthesiologist around. Last night in his home, he rose to speak after many of his fellow physicians and elders of his church completed an anointing service for his healing. Metastatic pancreatic cancer had found its way into his liver and he had started a journey he had not planned to travel for many years. His wife had spoken before him and declared, “We stand on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. We are praying for a miracle and I believe God will bring one. If not, we will still be okay.” Charlie then stood and briefly spoke, “Thank you all for coming. We’ll get through this, either way.”

People say stuff like, “Peter lost his battle with cancer.” And like, “Mary lost her battle with heart disease.”

Charlie’s got a battle ahead but he has already won. Last night was proof.

When we as Christians look at our lives and really examine our deepest desires, these desires are not transient and tied to health or longevity. Our greatest dreams are the stuff that eternity is made of:

* To be loved - I saw the family and friends who gathered; Charlie has already won.

* To make a difference in the lives of others - I’ve heard the testimonies of doctors, nurses, friends and family who have been blessed by Charlie’s touch; Charlie has won.

* To care for our families - Each of us someday must “let go and let God” with our families. Charlie said last night, “I’m blessed to have the time to prepare things for my wife and daughter.” He’s already won.

* To leave a legacy - Enough folks have said enough things for me to know that Charlie’s influence in their lives will go on and on. I know that his courage in this battle will change me forever. Charlie’s won.

* To bring glory to God - Janice and Charlie continue to express their love for God no matter who is in the room. Charlie’s won.

* To live - Under the blood of Christ, Charlie will never die. He’s already won.

There are certainly lesser goals that we all seek in life. Charlie does too. He may not achieve them all during life on this side of the door. Lesser battles will be lost and those losses will hurt deeply. But they are not the war. They are not the strategic victories Charlie needs to make life worth it all. Those victories are already won.

Perhaps God will touch Charlie in a special way and give him many more years in this present side of eternal life. By promise and experience, I know that God does heal miraculously at times, and I beg Him to do so now. If not, Charlie has already won his battle with cancer, and, as he said, “We’ll get through this, either way.”

Dear God,
Thank you for truth of life you have shown me through my friend. Help me to be as faithful.

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