“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if our earthly house is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:1 (NKJV)
It is so hard to see loved ones suffer. As we shared prayer requests in our Sunday school class this past week I noticed that every one of us had been touched by—or knew someone who was currently affected by— cancer. It is certainly a dreaded and life-wrecking disease having no mercy for the young nor the spiritually devoted.
In the case of young innocent children or godly saints in the prime of life, we ask ourselves, “Why? Why would God allow this to happen? What good could possibly come from it?”
I don’t know the answer to these questions. But I know that God, in his infinite wisdom, is not caught off guard. He is still in control and he still loves us with an everlasting, incomprehensible love—the kind of love that would sacrifice his only Son so that we could be with him forever.
There is one thing that I do know. Our life. This life—is but a blink in time. Whether I live 5 years, or 90, it is still only a single teardrop in the sea of eternity. Our physical bodies were not designed to last forever. However, the Bible says that we have a “building from God”, an eternal body, that will replace this wind-torn tent we currently inhabit. And that is the body in which I will spend eternity with God.
If you are mourning a friend or family member with a terminal illness, first of all, take the opportunity to share Christ with them. Assure them that as a child of God, they have a new and marvelous eternal body waiting for them. One that will never grow old, never wear out, never succumb to cancer or any other illness or disease. Help them to see the beauty and hope God has planned for them in a brand new heaven and a remade earth. Remind them that you will see them again!
And in the time that we do have on earth (which God has prescribed for us), let’s live every moment for his glory; loving, serving, growing—taking care of this temporary vessel–but always keeping in mind the fact that this life is not the end.