The Last Word

We are on our first month as a family that does not involve weekly trips to the cancer clinic.  For the last 10 months, our youngest daughter has been receiving treatment for a tumor found attached to the bone of her left eye.  She is now in Kindergarten and, more importantly, in remission.

It has been an interesting and, at times, tough transition.  The first few weeks after meeting with her doctor and gettingthe results of her final scans have been emotional.  All our effort has been to get where we are now.  So much focus has been placed on getting her through treatment; it feels awkward not to have that laser-like focus. But there has been an unusual shift recently.  Since close to the end of her treatment cycle, more people in pain come to my attention.  I’m introduced or told stories about others dealing with difficult circumstances.  Before our journey through cancer, I would feel badly, but I didn’t really understand where someone dealing with a life-threatening illness was coming from.

Now, I can meet someone in the middle of their pain and look them in the eye.  I don’t really like that I know how they feel, but I appreciate that 2 Cornithians 1:3-5 has come to fruition in my walk of faith.  Indeed, yesterday I connected this way with two people at church.  My heart breaks for them, but in the supernatural strength I’ve received for nearly the last year, I can give them one word that keeps me going.

This does not have the last word on your life.

If you are like me, you might have to say that out loud more than once to believe it.  Even for mature Christians in the middle of a crisis, it is difficult not to believe how you feel.  Pain, fear and anxiety are such strong emotions that they can grip you and feel as if they will never let you go.  It is hard to thank God for the difficulties that come to pass.

Maybe for you it isn’t cancer, but rather another illness or injury.  Perhaps it is the crushing weight of debt or imminent financial instability.  You might fear you will never get out of this abusive relationship alive; or the opposite, you fear you will never get married.  Your child could be on drugs.  Your mother could be dying.  You could be in the middle of a divorce, or considering it.  You might be pregnant at 15 or failing out of school.

Take it from a pastor friend of mine: Nothing has the last word on your life, except Jesus Christ – If you let Him.

There is nothing that can separate us from His love.  No demon, addiction, financial situation or circumstance has that power if you belong to Him.  They might oppressive you and try to hold you down; a captive in fear.  But they cannot if you ask Jesus into the middle of what you are facing.  He knows what it is like to be where you are.  He lived to die a horrible death.  But He did that so He could rise again – and gain the last word over eternity.  He can save you from your last word situation.

Jesus, in John 16:33, tells us we will have trouble – it is looking for us, especially those of us who follow Him.  But what I know even better than having trouble is that He tells us to be brave.  No matter how long and arduous, no matter how painful or gut-wrenching – He promises He will put an end to this last word.  There will be a season of restoration.  He will make all things new before your eyes.  And you are not walking this path alone. Trust in His last word for your life and do the best you can to endure until such a time when He allows you the honor to comfort as you have been comforted!

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