The gift of life

A friend of mine gave birth to a precious baby girl two months ago.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that my friend was diagnosed with esophageal cancer the week after her baby was born. She has a tumor the size of an orange growing on her esophagus, and the cancer has spread to her blood.

Hers is a slow-growing cancer. The doctors said it most likely started ten years ago.

Ten years. In the past decade, she has met the man of her dreams, come to a saving faith in Jesus, and given birth to her two children. So when the diagnosis came, it was easy to imagine the bitterness she might feel at having it all taken away.

But she wasn’t bitter at all. She was grateful.

Grateful for the chance to fall in love. Grateful for the gift of two sweet hands to hold. Most of all, grateful for the gift of salvation and eternal life.

She has remained astonishingly upbeat since then. Maybe that’s part of the reason she’s responding so well to treatment. So far, the tumor has shrunk in half, and the cancer cells in her blood have been reduced by 95 percent.

God, the Great Physician, is at work.

I took a meal to her last night. She’s going through round three of chemo and has already lost all her hair. But when she opened the front door, my first thought was how beautiful she looked.

And when I gave her a hug, I was surprised by the warmth of her body.

I don’t know what I was expecting. Tears, pain, certainly not so much life.

But isn’t that God’s promise?

You’ve probably read this verse a thousand times. If you have, let the message soak into the fibers of your heart. If you haven’t, let the power of these words encourage you today:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

I don’t know if my friend will be in the front row watching her daughter’s high school graduation or if she’ll be watching from a window in heaven. But I do know this: She will be alive. Death has no power over her.

That’s God’s gift to us – life, love, warmth, eternity.

Let’s talk: Have you or a loved one ever experienced a life-altering diagnosis? How did it affect your perspective on eternity?

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