Many of us live with deadlines as part of our work lives. For me, it has always been, “Sunday’s Coming.” Without a doubt the most important function of my “job,” is preaching for our weekend services. It is, at the same time, a great honor, and a fearful presumption, to stand before God’s people and offer teaching, thoughts and encouragement from the Scriptures, with hopes and expectations that God is speaking through me. This brings me great joy, but is also difficult to face week, after week, after week. Sunday’s always coming! That’s my weekly deadline. No matter what else I’m doing all week long, my deadline always hangs over me.
I’ve not written a post for a good while. This is partly because Gail and I are still trying to figure out what a good life is supposed to be like, with a deadline always hanging over our heads. Chemotherapy, and the aftermath, is a standing appointment that never ceases. It is a constant reminder of Gail’s illness, like a cloud over our heads that builds and builds until it erupts every other Friday. People sometimes ask, “How much longer will Gail’s treatments last?” This is a fair question, but it’s always difficult to explain that it will last until Gail can’t take it anymore, which also means she will be getting worse beyond the assistance of this nightmarish cocktail. There will be other attempts, trials and so forth, but the bottom line is that God must intervene for there to be healing. In our lives, “Friday's always coming.”
So, we go on with our daily lives. Since she is no longer working, Gail is learning how to structure her time in a manner that gives her the security of normality that we all need. I perform my beloved ministry duties each week, while trying to spend as much time with my wife and family as possible. I feel behind on both the work and the home-front most of the time, and every few days it erupts in some manner – tears, anger, sadness. Yet, we’re having many wonderful experiences together and we’re both growing immensely as children of God. The Bible is quite accurate to say that suffering produces many of life’s deepest benefits. But, I’m still contending with God to come up with another method to accomplish this in our lives. Friday's coming and it sucks.
This post sounds a bit depressing, but it’s not meant to be depressing, just an accurate reflection of our reality. We’re actually both doing rather well considering; and God is using this situation to His glory in ways we could never have dreamed – really this is true. Ultimately, if our lives are supposed to be about glorifying God, then, until He determines otherwise, let Friday come.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:2-4 (NIV)
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)