Here is the reality of where I’m at. In the past few days the pain levels have increased not only in my left clavicle, which is being eaten away by the cancer, but also in my abdomen. Some nights the two compete as if trying to win the highly coveted “I Hurt More” award. Because of the shoulder it’s difficult to get out of bed so I’ve taken to sleeping in Robin’s recliner in our TV room. I find myself needing to go to bed earlier and yet I’ll then wake up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. Being already in the TV room does have it’s perks but I’ll just as often lay awake thinking. It’s quickly become the new normal. The plain truth is I’m not doing well. The aches and pains are piling up and starting to take their toll on me physically.
So why in the world would I title this post “Blessed”? I think for a great many people my saying, “I feel truly blessed.” will absolutely make no sense. Thankfully I know that’s not the case for the majority of my readers. I know instead I’m preaching to the choir. I have been and I am even now being blessed in countless ways. The very fact I’m still here is an incredible blessing. Of all the ways to leave this life cancer has given me an opportunity to heal old wounds and love on the people around me. What an incredible gift that has been. It’s been a wonderful blessing to hear from people I haven’t spoken to in ages and catch up with them and their lives.
Here is where I’ll just jump to the point I really wanted to make with this post. The greatest blessing God has given me through all of this has been you. Yes you. Simply knowing I had so many people concerned for me has been incredibly humbling and uplifting. I wouldn’t have made it to this point with the positive attitude I have without you walking along beside me. And I don’t care if you’ve been one of the incredible prayer warriors God has surrounded me with or if I’ve been nothing more than a name in the Sunday Bulletin and a fleeting thought of “Get Well”. God has made you an impact in my life and I am grateful for you.
I had a friend from church call me the other day wanting to know if he could stop by. After our conversation I stopped to think of my use of the word “friend”. While this gentleman and I have known each other for decades we’ve never been over to the others house. We’ve never gone out for a meal or a cup of coffee. Outside of church we’ve really never spoken to each other. From anyones perspective I should be referring to him as an acquaintance not a friend and yet I feel so much more for him than that. I feel so much more for so many of my church “acquaintances” and then it dawned on me, it’s because I think of them as being family. Perhaps a bit dysfunctional at times but then I’ve always viewed myself as the overly boisterous, crazy uncle. Praise God for giving us the CHURCH. I don’t think I’d have made it this far without my home church Atonement.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
I often times view myself as coming in dead last but I do see the finish line before me and there is a multitude cheering me on to the end. Thank you being part of that multitude.