Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, O God, you have spoken about the future of the house of your servant. You have looked on me as though I were the most exalted of men, O LORD God. – 1 Chronicles 17:16-17
Two years ago today, November 19, 2007, I received a phone call that I will never forget. The rest of this was written on November 24, only a few hours before my father passed away. As the anniversary of his passing draws near, I feel compelled to share these words once again. In a few days, I will add to this in an additional post…
I was sitting at the desk in my classroom, listening to my sister inform me of the results of my father’s doctor’s appointment from earlier in the day. He had just completed his latest round of radiation, but was experiencing a great deal of pain. Other indicators were pointing toward myeloma – a fairly treatable cancer. This, coupled with the knowledge that the radiation and chemo had successfully destroyed the cancer cells found earlier this year gave us all great hope about the future. However, the news was far from what we had expected. There was no myeloma. The cancer, which we had been told throughout the past several months had not metastasized, did. There were now tumors throughout his body. Chemo was no longer an option. He had been prescribed hospice care. The timeline was weeks to months. However, as I sit and write this morning with my father lying just a few feet away in the hospital bed they brought to his house, it is obvious that his body is shutting down and his life here on earth is coming to an end.
The phone call was only five days ago, but it feels like an eternity since then. It seems like the hands of time have started spinning at a slower pace for me then they are for the rest of the world. This doesn’t mean that the other parts of life have ceased to happen. I am still faced with the occupational, financial, relationship, and health issues that I had last week. But what I am feeling now, more than ever before, is the overwhelming need to trust and rely upon God in this time where nothing else is strong enough.
But don’t think for a minute that this is a consolation prize or a measure of last resort. For months, we have prayed that God would do miraculous things in the life of my father – to bring healing where the doctors thought healing was not possible, and God was true to His promise. The doctors were baffled – these things were not supposed to happen according to medical science. God is bigger than that. So while my emotions ride the roller coaster, my faith is on solid ground. Because now, as the time I’ve been given to spend with my earthly father comes to a close, I am led to cling to the strength I find in the my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
A major goal of the Day 1 of 1 concept was to focus our attention upon the relationship that we strive to have with God every day of our lives. So once again, when the hands of time return to their normal speed and I move back to the life God has called me to live, I must bring that same level of faith to play in my life. My trust remains in God to lead, guide, and protect me through the joys and struggles of the coming days. Just as God delivered David time and time again: facing a giant, the threats and attacks of Saul, the numerous battles, his affair with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah, the overthrow of his throne, and the death of Absalom, He too will remain true to His promises to me, today, tomorrow, and forever. By focusing on being faithful to Him today, He will return blessings that will provide peace, power, and prosperity now and for years to come.