faith, illness, testimony

The Testimony of a Dying Friend

(This article was originally posted on my old blog in April of 2010.)

A few months back, I wrote about my feelings of inadequacies about being who I think I should be in Christ. 

I have long struggled with the shortcomings I see in myself and the high expectations I put on myself. 

I have even gone as far as being angry at the Lord for not making me able to fulfill  my high expectations of perfection. 

I was panged with conviction when I realized that I am the pottery asking the Potter “Why hast thou made me thus?” (Roman 9:20)

The death of a friend brought this home to me. 

My husband’s friend was in his 30s. 

Only a few years older than I am. 

A believer. 

A husband. 

Father to two grade schoolers. 

He had struggled with cancer for a number of years. 

Finally, they were going to be able to get rid of the last of it by removing his leg where the cancer was centered. 

When he awoke from the surgery, he couldn’t feel part of his face. He assumed it was a nicked nerve, but the Dr performed some tests and discovered that the cancer had spread throughout his body.

It was everywhere.

And fast acting.

That was around Christmas time.

There was a specialist down south who might be able to remove the cancerous tumors. DH’s boss offered to pay the expenses. 

But, it would mean taking him –nearly– apart and reassembling him.

He declined.

He was ready to go Home.

He told his wife he would pray that she would find a new husband to help her raise his boys.

He showed up at work with a smile on his face.

He told those around him about the Hope he had in Christ. 

He made sure that his life was in order and that his family was taken care of.

His testimony spread around work and beyond.

God was glorified by his life.

And by his death.

So much more so than He would have been had this man’s cancer gone into remission.

He passed into Glory a week or so ago. and Scott and I had the honor of attending his funeral. 

We saw the faces of weather-hardened construction workers who rarely darkened the door of a church. 

They came to honor the life of a man who lived what he said he believed.

 They never heard him complain. His only concern was for those he left behind.

He did not ask God “Why did you give me this cancer? Why are you taking me away from my wife and from my children when they are so young?” 

He was not bitter that life had not gone his way.

 He accepted the Potter’s plan and lived his life as best he could given the circumstances he encountered.

And, he has inspired me to do the same.

My trials and troubles seem so small compared to his.

And, yet he stood tall.

So can I.

Perspective is truly everything.

I remember my grandmother saying “I complained that I had no shoes… until I met a man who had no feet.”

Ah, perspective.

It truly makes a difference.

(Originally posted here)

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