Today a precious friend, a sister really, nears the end of her long physical battle with cancer. She has given God the glory and praised the name of Jesus every step of the way. In small victories and massive setbacks, she has stood firm, unshakeable in her resolve to hold tight to her Savior.
This morning, I sat on the patio praying for her and her family. Asking God to ease her “momentary” groaning and thinking of her home going. The Spirit led me to Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians where he shines God’s light on our physical struggles and even on death:
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side but not crushed; perplexed, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body… Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all… For while we are in this tent (earthly body), we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to clothed with our heavenly dwelling (body), so that what is mortal (our dying bodies) may be swallowed up by life.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-11, 16-17; 5:4
Losing people we love brings us pain. But if they belong to Jesus, their physical death is a victory. God sustained them in their weakness here on earth. But when death claims their mortal bodies, the life of God surrounds them. The moment they leave their earthly body, they are at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).
Where, O death is your victory? Where O death is your sting? 1 Corinthians 15:55
With the confidence that comes from the Word of Truth, we can declare that death has been defeated. Life has won. Hallelujah!
Update: Janet Whitloch Valentine defeated death on Friday, June 26th and is now in her heavenly home.