So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen, for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NRSV)
Read 2 Corinthians 4:11 5:4
Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. 1 Peter 3:15-16 (NRSV)
It had been two years since Anita Gray, from Pennsylvania, heard the oncologist describe her painful cancer as incurable. She felt as if she were riding on prayers as her friends, family, and church community surrounded her with their love and support. The staff at the cancer center became like family to Anita, and she looked forward to her monthly visits there.
As Anita was taking the shuttle ride from the hotel to the cancer center, a distraught young woman sat beside her. As she talked about her recent cancer diagnosis, Anita tried to encourage her by sharing some of her own story. She asked Anita how she could speak so joyously and positively, knowing that she had a terminal disease. Anita shared her faith with her and told her that she knew life on this present earth wasn't all there was for her.
Through her experience with cancer, Anita had come to realize that everyone is terminal - no one knows when their last day on earth will be. Every person, healthy or ill, can choose to see each day God gives as a gift.
Anita knows where she is headed, she knows God holds her future, and she trusts God to prepare her for whatever comes. May we too trust God for our future as nothing in this life is for certain except that one day life as we know it will end.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your promises that give us hope; especially the promise of eternal life with You, in Jesus' name, amen.