Friday, January 4, 2013

Will the dust praise you?

After a long break from writing, I want and need to write again...With two delightful daughters, 2.5 and just-turned-one, much has changed, yet the desire to process my thoughts with words has not.  If you are blessed by my journey, then please come along.

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I awoke on New Year's Day to math in my head. The computations startled me.  

In 16 short years, I WILL BE FIFTY! 50 years old!

50!??

I have lived for so long believing my life was just beginning, that I have lots of time to apply God-given gifts, to accomplish Kingdom dreams. To make a mark on the world in His name.

I thought I had so much time.

Then I was jolted with the face-slap reality that NO, I DO NOT.

The time is flying by, the seasons of life, the joys and the milestones.  However, in the past year, I have come to understand that life is hard.  Very hard. There were 5 major medical situations and surgeries among our close family this year. I was among the family members with life-altering diagnoses.  

Melanoma was discovered and removed on my back, and several lymph nodes were removed under my arm to be tested.  The doctors wanted to rule out the possibility that cancer had progressed beyond the skin and invaded my body.  If it had, I would be fighting the most lethal and fast-growing cancer of all.

I remember the afternoon I left the doctor's office at the hospital following a post-op appointment in which I received good news. My lymph nodes were clear!  My margins were clean. My body was cancer-free!

I couldn't wait to call Dean to tell him the thrilling news--I wasn't fighting for my life.  I was going to live, hopefully, a long life as his wife and the mother of our children.



I stepped onto the elevator going down.  It was crammed with people.  A woman in a wheelchair was missing her legs.  A 60-something husband and his wife, carrying a thick folder of medical notes and a worried face. A homeless-seeming and smelling man. Here I was stuffed in between them, bursting with joy inside, yet surrounded with heartache and bad news all around. 

And I realized, I may have received good news today, but the truth is, we are all going to the same place.  

The elevator we are all on is going down.  

All of us have a ticking clock, some with more time on it than others, but we are all going down into the earth.
"By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." Genesis 3:19
I will exalt you, Lord,
    for you lifted me out of the depths
    and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
Lord my God, I called to you for help,
    and you healed me.
You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
    you spared me from going down to the pit.

To you, Lord, I called;
    to the Lord I cried for mercy:
“What is gained if I am silenced,
    if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?

    Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
    Lord, be my help.
You turned my wailing into dancing;
    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.    Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

(portions of Psalm 30)

"Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 
Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins."  
James 4:13-16


I can't think of a better New Year's gift than the revelation of time. The reminder that our days are numbered, possibly shorter than we imagine.  

Celebrate a new year with me in the humble knowledge that each day is a gift, that tomorrow is not a promise!, that next year or decade may not come, but in Christ, we can take heart and hope in Him. They are oh, so short.  As you make resolutions and goals and dream about your future, let's remember the all important preface, "If it is the Lord's will, I will live and do this or that."

What will you do this year by His Spirit? If he gives me more breath, I will use it to praise His name. "My heart will sing your praises and not be silent." 


Teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain a heart of wisdom!
Psalm 90:12

2 comments:

heathernelson said...

So beautifully written! Sobering yet hopeful and purposeful at the same time. I'm glad you're blogging again!

Erik and Sarah said...

oh, beautiful you! so glad to hear a little more of "you", your family, and what the Lord is teaching you!
love, sarah

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