*A couple months ago my life changed drastically as I was diagnosed with a semi-terminal illness and now I spend my days house bound at the end of a fifty foot oxygen line. I am in the act of vacating the house I have rented for almost twenty years and moving across town to live with a sister. That is the background for this blog of mine. *

[size=85]Thursday, October 1, 2009[/size]

Lately, I have been busy either giving away to friends or selling to strangers most all that I own. Often, I am caught back and in my mind, I exclaim, “Wow!, to think of the time and effort spent in procuring all this in a lifetime.” For those that gather this weekend to buy, it will be but another garage sale but for me it is an estate sale … an estate that I have found all too fleeting.

Sure it is sad, especially as I dispose of the old photos with their memories, or when I tag a ridiculous price on an old heirloom. However, the saving grace is that I have a greater hope. It seems I myself, have been tagged by God’s hand with a growing desire for a city where nothing is bought nor sold, and all is gain and never lost. This life has been good, very good, in that I can see it’s purpose now. In reality the whole of this wordily existence is but iron fetters set before the throne of gold, which shines ever brighter with each succeeding day. Never more so, than this morning, do I look forward to the approaching day when I can stand before the full glory of my King and throw my earthly crown before His lovely feet. Those precious nail pierced feet have tread the path, not only before me, but aside me and even within me. Never, for even a moment, has my Lord forsaken me. He has walked my every step, and most of them, without even hinting, a want for acknowledgement. JESUS, THROUGH THICK AND THIN, IS TRULY THE FRIEND THAT STICKETH CLOSER THAN A BROTHER. HE CAME TO ME AS A SERVANT AND NOW HE IS MY KING. IN THE BEGINNING I WANTED FOR MYSELF, WHILE NOW I ONLY WANT FOR HIM. HE TRULY IS MOST PRECIOUS, A TREASURE BEYOND PRICE.

As I have labored hard, these last few days, I still cannot help but find time to read and write of my Lord, and all of that, which He has won for me. I can’t recall whether I read, this quoted message below, yesterday or even this morning. For it seems, the individual days for quite some time have lost their distinguish. My time is, ever more so, measured in glimpses of Him, Who is as a restful home and a prize yearned for.

With that said, I loved the beautiful metaphor and lovely language used in the following message of “the making of a worthy priest and a servant king.” How often, when my soul was surrendered and seemed as dead, yet I still suffered. On these painful occasions, “why?” has entered my mind. It is then, that He has, with both empathy and encouragement whispered, “We suffer for others.”

Be blessed precious reader,

“Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress” Ps 4:1

This is one of the grandest testimonies ever given by man to the moral government of God. It is not a man’s thanksgiving that he has been set free from suffering. It is a thanksgiving that he has been set free through suffering: “Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress.” He declares the sorrows of life to have been themselves the source of life’s enlargement.

And have not you and I a thousand times felt this to be true? It is written of Joseph in the dungeon that “the iron entered into his soul.” We all feel that what Joseph needed for his soul was just the iron. He had seen only the glitter of the gold. He had been rejoicing in youthful dreams; and dreaming hardens the heart. He who sheds tears over a romance will not be most apt to help reality; real sorrow will be too unpoetic for him. We need the iron to enlarge our nature. The gold is but a vision; the iron is an experience. The chain which unites me to humanity must be an iron chain. That touch of nature which makes the world akin is not joy, but sorrow; gold is partial, but iron is universal.

My soul, if thou wouldst be enlarged into human sympathy, thou must be narrowed into limits of human suffering. Joseph’s dungeon is the road to Joseph’s throne. Thou canst not lift the iron load of thy brother if the iron hath not entered into thee. It is thy limit that is thine enlargement. It is the shadows of thy life that are the real fulfillment of thy dreams of glory. Murmur not at the shadows; they are better revelations than thy dreams. Say not that the shades of the prison-house have fettered thee; thy fetters are wings–wings of flight into the bosom of humanity. The door of thy prison-house is a door into the heart of the universe. God has enlarged thee by the binding of sorrow’s chain. --George Matheson

If Joseph had not been Egypt’s prisoner, he had never been Egypt’s governor. The iron chain about his feet ushered in the golden chain about his neck. – Lettie Cowman


Hi John:

You are dying then. And handling it pretty damn well, as witness this testimony. BLESS you for this John… What’s actually pretty cool about UR is that all of us will get to be together forever. (If we’re wrong, will we even get to know it?)
Sounds like you’re dying well. Dying with sense of purpose/faith/trust intact. I watched my own dad die that way back in 86. An uncertain and uncomfortable agnostic then, I said his death was a good and noble one; just 20 or 30 years too early.

Except that assumes that death really was somehow always in God’s plans for us…
No, my conviction is that death is the antithesis of God and His ethos of life and is the enemy. Death at ANY age – even if you lived to be 150 – was not, and is not, in God’s plan. (That of course places me at great odds with the necessary tenants of evolution…)

Have been haunted these past fews days by a case I cared for last Friday. 38 week fetus, planned by a welcoming family. But no movement that morning, so mom came in to be checked. Baby is dead – and she was a previous C Section. So we had to do a C Section to deliver that perfect, pasty white, dead, baby. And that poor dad was so shaken he said not a word; 2 hours later, before I left, he was still holding that perfect little baby in his arms. Saying his goodbyes. And I had absolutely no damn clue what to say to him. My feelings of helplessness dwarfed by his.

I’m finding that this death is just as unwanted by God as your impending one will be.
Except death’s been conquered, and does not have the final say. We of faith can know that – and somehow extract joy from the fear and sorrow and angst that accompanies us as we face this stranger.

Blessings upon you John…