Friday, 6 April 2012

Winning Either Way

I have been just swamped in Paul this year. My Tuesday moms' group has been studying Philippians and Colossians, and in BSF this year we have studied Acts, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, and parts of Galatians. Thus, mired in Paul. It has certainly been good for me, both as preparation for the events of the last few weeks, and as consolation as we move through mom's illness and treatment. The thought I keep coming back to, as we have traveled up and down on the diagnostic roller coaster for the past few weeks, is that no matter the outcome of this cancer my mom wins.

Paul writes his beloved friends the Philippians from prison. He has no idea if he will perish in jail, or be released as see them again. Either way, he claims victory in the Lord, writing to them,

"Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

My Mom loves Jesus. She is not perfect (of course, neither was Paul), but she strives to know him and to serve him in all that she does. I know that as she fights this battle against cancer that she will do so in a way that brings glory to God. And whether she lives or dies, I know that the cancer in her, the death in her, has already been defeated. Praise God, the grave will have no victory over her because of Christ's work on her behalf. If she lives, she will do it for Christ, and if she dies, she will only gain. What a beautiful promise. We have such a glorious hope.

I know she is torn, as Paul was torn, when he wrote,

"But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake."

Mom has a great deal to live for: a wonderful, caring husband, the four best children in the world (my blog, my rules), almost a basketball team's worth of cute, energetic grandsons, a caring extended family, and amazing neighbors and friends. Who knows what fruitful labor God might have in store for her future?

But if not, we will not grieve as those who have no hope, and certainly we will not fight this battle as those who have no hope. For even as we pray for Mom to be miraculously healed, and urgently desire that God would fulfill this request, we know that if even if He does not from our perspective, she has a perfect, glorified, Resurrected body coming. In Christ, live or die, she wins.


Great Aunt Gretchen said...

Wow Amy. You are a blessing to so many and so is your mom. Thanks for the excellent reminder of our hope in Christ!

Jess said...

In church on Easter Sunday, we sang the most wonderful song. The chorus ends like this "till he returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I'll stand". It made me think about your mom, and how true that is for her as well. She wins, no matter what. What an amazing, wonderful blessing.