Today marks 10 years since I was diagnosed with Stage 4 ALK+ lung cancer. 10 years! I’d been given 10 months. And it’s been 10 years! That’s 3650 days, plus 3 for leap years. God has given me 3653 more days to number. What does it mean to number my days? The words come from Psalm 90:
12 Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
17 May the favour of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.
I’m learning not to take my life for granted. It’s not random or accidental—it’s a gift from God. He has made me for his purposes. And his purposes are far greater than any I could manufacture for myself.
I’m a very slow learner. So it’s taking some time to start each day with my heart fully satisfied with God’s unfailing love. Gratitude hasn’t been my strong suit. I fail to see what’s in front of my face. A beautiful wife, an awesome family, a fantastic church, some fabulous friends. I struggle to say thank you to doctors and nurses, and scientists and pharmaceutical companies (yep), and my cancer crew who’ve walked this challenging journey with me. But worst of all, I often forget the solid constancy of God’s unfailing love.
I’m so tempted to attach God’s love to my circumstances:
It’s sunny—he loves me. It’s raining—he doesn’t.
I’m NED—he loves me. The cancer’s back—he doesn’t.
I’m happy—he loves me. I’m depressed—he doesn’t.
God’s love is truly unfailing and deeply satisfying. He has demonstrated his love by sending his precious son. The death of Jesus is God’s promise of love, written in blood. If you grab hold of this love, then no one and nothing can take it from you. Do you know this love? Does it satisfy you every morning?
I’ve been given 10 years. 3653 precious days with my family. 3653 days to love and serve my Father in heaven. 3653 days to make a difference in this world. 3653 days to face my failures and find forgiveness from my Father in heaven. And every one of these days has been a gift from above.
I thank God for his kindness. I thank you for your prayers and support over the past 10 years. I have no expectation and certainly no claim, but I’d love 10 more years, and perhaps 10 more after that. But deeper still, I have a hope beyond this life, a hope beyond cure. And I look forward to the day when there will be no more tears, no more pain, no more suffering, and no more death. God has promised an eternity with him for all who trust in Jesus.
If you want to know more about this hope, then send me a note.