It has been over five years since I was diagnosed, and five years since my missionary career was forced to change direction. As a preacher of nearly 40 years’ experience, not to have a natural voice of my own was a body blow, in more ways than one! Aggressive esophageal cancer has imprisoned me in a life I did not choose and do not like. At times I get depressed, especially when I think what I could be doing today if none of this had happened. But there’s no point in denying it has happened. And not to someone else, but to me – to yours truly! I am aware that we are all dying. Everyone is born only to live brief years along life’s road – maybe 20, 40, 70 years. Length really doesn’t matter, especially when you are living in a bangedup body that isn’t all it should be. Yet I have a belief that this sharply focuses my view of dying. I am disabled. I may be depressed. I will most certainly die one day. But in God’s time, my dying will bring freedom and give wholeness to me. It is worth a look ahead.
When I turn away from my life which ends in death, I can concentrate on my death which ends in life! Then I will be free from the limitations brought to me by sin, by rebellion against God and His ways. I will become like my Lord Jesus in His death and resurrection. Then I will be whole.
The risen Christ spoke to His followers in a voice they recognized. I want my first words to my Lord to be those gasped by Thomas, when the truth of life after death stood facing him across the room: “My Lord and my God!”
Disabled, depressed and dying, I still choose to look forward to the climax of this human’s history: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). While you are living, do what you can to make today worthwhile for eternity.
By Colin Salter
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org