“That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death.”
Today I found out that the cancer I thought was vanquished, had instead infiltrated other parts of my body, including my liver. My oncologist presented my options for treatment, mainly chemotherapy and immunotherapy. If these options turn out to be: 1- great expense and discomfort from attempts to treat the cancer, with low probability of a cure; 2- a gradual death from the cancer, with palliative measures towards the end when the pain has become too great to bear; 3- by mental exercises and exertions, and trusting God for my ultimate disposition, perhaps curing the cancer by non-medical means. I was looking for a sign from God, what I should choose. This very morning, my daily reading of Charles Spurgeon meditations, fell on the following, which I accept as an expression of my faith. Therefore I choose #3, pending my discussion with the therapy experts on April 23.
O child of God, death hath lost its sting, because the devil’s power over it is destroyed. Then cease to fear dying. Ask grace from God the Holy Ghost, that by an intimate knowledge and a firm belief of thy Redeemer’s death, thou mayst be strengthened for that dread hour. Living near the cross of Calvary thou mayst think of death with pleasure, and welcome it when it comes with intense delight. It is sweet to die in the Lord: it is a covenant-blessing to sleep in Jesus. Death is no longer banishment, it is a return from exile, a going home to the many mansions where the loved ones already dwell. The distance between glorified spirits in heaven and militant saints on earth seems great; but it is not so. We are not far from home—a moment will bring us there. The sail is spread; the soul is launched upon the deep. How long will be its voyage? How many wearying winds must beat upon the sail ere it shall be reefed in the port of peace? How long shall that soul be tossed upon the waves before it comes to that sea which knows no storm? Listen to the answer, “Absent from the body, present with the Lord.” Yon ship has just departed, but it is already at its haven. It did but spread its sail and it was there. Like that ship of old, upon the Lake of Galilee, a storm had tossed it, but Jesus said, “Peace, be still,” and immediately it came to land. Think not that a long period intervenes between the instant of death and the eternity of glory. When the eyes close on earth they open in heaven. The horses of fire are not an instant on the road. Then, O child of God, what is there for thee to fear in death, seeing that through the death of thy Lord its curse and sting are destroyed? and now it is but a Jacob’s ladder whose foot is in the dark grave, but its top reaches to glory everlasting.
My daughters want me to get cured, but they understand that I am already so weakened by myasthenia gravis, a stroke and previous cancer treatments, that I may choose to end the therapy or not get started. Dear readers, you won’t have many opportunities to read the thoughts of one preparing for death. Sharing my perspective as a Christian is perhaps my final, and most worthy, mission on this earth. I will update in a few days.