Lost Sheep

Dear X

Y told me that you’ve received a really hard diagnosis: gut-wrenching news about cancer. I am so sorry to learn this and can’t even imagine what thoughts and emotions you & your husband must be dealing with!

I want to share with you a perspective about the goodness of God in the midst of extreme suffering.  I have no idea where you are spiritually.  But I would want to be reassured of God’s love during a time like this, if I were walking through a dark valley.

Nothing comes as a surprise to God because he is in charge.  And nothing happens that is not filtered through his loving hands. Don’t fear; you won’t say anything to him that will shock or hurt him or cause him to love you less. He has known about this cancer.  He is with you in every breath you take and during every doctor’s visit.  He is helping you in this transition.

When I am struggling, I often remind myself of the truth that Jesus sustains everything by the power of his word – Hebrews 1:3 (or by his powerful word, as some translations say) or in Colossians, Paul says about Jesus, “He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. I literally will say, “thank you Lord, that you are sustaining me by the power of your word!”

So how do we know that God loves you and me? We know about God from both what is written about him, the record of his thoughts and actions in the Old Testament and also the accounts of the actions and words of God in the flesh, Jesus.  The God-man came to save us from ourselves. We NEED saving, because we’ve all gone astray and are confused like the lost sheep he calls us. He tenderly leads us.

Here’s what Luke recounts in his 9th chapter, verses 4-6

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!

Ann – it’s NEVER too late, as long as there is breath in you, to turn to Jesus for help, for strength and even for salvation.  He doesn’t hold anything against the one who seeks him, no matter his or her past.

If you are already a Christ – follower, then I would encourage you to think about heaven and talk about it with your husband.  If he is a Christian too, then he knows he’ll see you again!

For the believer, all that is mortal is being swallowed up by life. We will live forever with Jesus. In new bodies, to boot!  The proof that we will get new bodies (different, but recognizable by others) is seen in the fact that Jesus DID come back after being resurrected. He walked, talked and ate with his disciples for several weeks.  They touched his physical, resurrected body.

This fact of his being resurrected represents God the Father saying to the Jews who had him crucified, ‘You all were wrong in thinking Jesus was blaspheming when he claimed to be one with me.  Everything he said was true.  His resurrection is my verdict of “NOT GUILTY”.’

As I close, I want you to know what I like about God, what gives me comfort and I hope will comfort you, too.

God, because it’s his nature, his character, showers us with

  • loving-kindness
  • mercy
  • faith (a gift)
  • fair and righteous decisions
  • truth

All his decisions are perfect.  We might not see or understand everything right now, but he does work out all things for the good of those whom he loves and who love him.

Please know that I am praying for you and your husband daily.  If you would care to talk more, have your husband call me.  I’d be happy to come visit  during the Christmas holidays.

Praying that you know the true peace of God that is beyond earthly understanding.