April 13th is a very significant day, for me.
It was 35 years ago today that my darling Debbie and I had our very first date, pizza and Superman (circa 1979). I still remember the small little peck she gave me on my cheek as she bolted from my car.
It was 7 years ago on this date that I was lying on an operating table and a cancer battle would begin.
Both happened on Friday the 13th - 28 years apart.
I would definitely choose the first again, for my darling Debbie has blessed by life in countless ways, as a faithful wife, best friend, life partner, mother of my two children, a truly Proverbs 31 woman of God, beautiful inside and out. My darling Debbie has stood by my side through life, through "good times and bad, in sickness and in health." She has made me "rich" in ways I too often don't express. Honey, I love you - always and 4ever!
I think I would also choose the last seven years again, of battling a rare form of cancer. Why? Because it was obviously God's will for my life. That doesn't make it an easy choice but I know that through this journey he has revealed his faithfulness time and again, deepened my faith, and given me a perspective of who he is for me that I would not otherwise have. Sure, it would have been nice to have not had to deal with the suffering and pain, the life sentence of a drug that keeps me alive, but the loss would be the work God has done in my life, the understanding of who he is even through the trials and tribulations.
My life verse is James 1:2-4:
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
The "anything" cannot be purchased with money, it cannot be bartered for or acquired by any worldly means. The "anything" is not of this world but is rather an eternal reality, an abding faith, a deep assurance that can only be entered by a soveriegn work of God.
Have you considered that God loves you so much that he allows your suffering, your trials, your hardship? He does. When we submit to his will for our lives we gain a better understanding of our trials. God sets the standards for "testing" in our lives for one glorious purpose - so that we will be "mature and complete" - in Christ. He who has begun a good work will see it to completion, so that we are "not lacking anything." That is anything he wants for us. Can it get any better than that?
Thank you, Lord, for loving me so much that you gave me my darling Debbie to take this life journey with. Thank you, that you loved me so much that you worked through this seven year cancer battle to "mature and complete" in me your purposes so that one day I would "not lack anything." Thank you, Lord, that you are not finished with me yet and that together with my darling Debbie. we can trust in your good, pleasing and perfect will as you work out your plan for our lives. We love you, Lord, because you first loved us.