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Saturday, June 8, 2019

Protect Life or Pursue It?

When mom embarked on her journey with pancreatic cancer, I'll be honest... Our primary, and only, objective was to protect
and preserve her life in any way possible. 

The end goal was always full healing... finding the cure to beat the detestable disease that had her in its cruel grip.

We lived, breathed, and slept with the belief that if we just searched long enough, and prayed hard enough, we'd be able to keep mom safe from harm, wholly protected.

It was a hard fall, that awakening to the reality of our losing battle.  Mom accepted the terminal prognosis long before any of us could see the truth behind the solemn words of her diagnosis:

You have inoperable pancreatic cancer... 

And I can't say that we really ever accepted it.  Until her last breath we prayed for a miracle.

It has taken time to give perspective to the fight.  Our pastor shared a message several weeks ago that profoundly changed my outlook on the way we live life well.

{Spoiler Alert:  Mom figured it out much more quickly than we did!}

The passage came from a familiar scripture:

"Whoever finds their life will lose it,
and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it."
~ Matthew 10:39

Here in the gospel account, we find Jesus sending out the Twelve disciples, and we can almost hear the authority in his voice, the heaviness in his instruction. These 12 were, for the most part, uneducated commoners, a ragtag bunch of men, called out for a life they surely felt ill-prepared to handle.  

And yet Jesus sent them out with a paradox.  Perplexed, yes, I imagine they were.

Finding our Life... only to lose it?   Losing our find it? 

We see now in hindsight, Christ's redeeming plan... we understand through the prism of a cross, an empty tomb, a risen Savior.  But these Twelve?  The riddle must have been confounding...

It never occurred to me that we struggle with the paradox still today.

Searching in panic for treatments, cures, a way out of the pancreatic cancer nightmare.  We sought Life, wanted to protect what we held in our arms.

Our pastor asked a pointed question:

Do you seek to protect Life or pursue it?

Maybe there is a glimmer of truth breaking through...

The Passion translation speaks it plain:

"All who seek to live apart from me will lose it all.  But those who let go of their lives for my sake and surrender it all to me will discover true life!"
~ Matthew 10:39

There are two ways to view life, there are those who protect it, and those who pursue it.

On which camp do we stand?

Protecting life at all costs
Pursing it with abandon for His sake?

Mom chose well.  In choosing Christ, she was freed from the meaningless chase of  finding life to the satisfying walk of  living an Abundant Life.

Yes, she still sought treatment, and yes, still prayed for a cure, but was at peace with the truth that she could let go of this life, knowing full well that the riches of eternity far out-weighed anything we were trying to protect in the here and now.

For Christ's sake those who lose their lives will find it...
Abundant Treasure!

And that's Grace enough for this day,

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