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What Makes the Ending So Sad

Today's subject header brought to you by Lou Rawls. Check it out. Good music.

I just read a beautiful email by a friend of the family who was carefully wording the terrible end of the passing of the patriarch of the family. As I sat and prayed for the family I had several thoughts race through my brain. I need to pass this along the prayer chain and get everyone praying for this need. Everyone already has a need similar to this in their own network of friends/family. Everyone has other needs as well; what makes cancer such a terrible enemy? Particularly, what makes cancer such a terrible enemy to both Christians and non-Christians alike? 

I think I have come to a partial answer.

Everyone would agree that cancer is a terrible enemy because we have yet to find a successful foolproof way of battling it and winning every time. Happily there are many people who face the sickness of cancer and come out stronger and more full of life than ever before, but make no mistake--cancer is a terrible enemy.

And yet...

I think the thing that makes cancer such a terrible enemy and such a struggle for families to face is that when someone receives the diagnosis it means their body has suddenly been given a timeline with an end mark. All of us will die at some point, it's one of the curious facts of life, death is. And yet, given the choice to either know when you would die or not know when you would die (according to The Bucket List), only 5% of people polled said they would like to know the date in advance of their death.

Cancer is such a terrible enemy because it gives us a realized shortened timeline to work with. It leaves us with a loved one who is not in the same state of mind that we once knew them in, much less the same physical state they were capable of.

Cancer is information. It is the spoiler alert. Cancer tells us that the end is near and that there is little to do about it. Though people die all around us in car crashed or other instances of quick death, cancer marks a foreshadowing of death that is to come.

And so, while I pray for my friends, I also thank God that He has marked out the days for me in His Book of Life, but not clued me into how many days are left for me. He instead instructs me to live each day to the fullest with no promise of tomorrow. Always a hope and bright future for tomorrow, but He says "do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." (Matt 6:34).

I encourage you, gentle reader, live today with the excitement of life. You do not know when you will draw your last breath and you likely do not care to know when it would happen. Thank God that you have breath now and live your life in such a way that will be pleasing to Him. The end is coming and perhaps even near, so live like you were dying. And die to yourself, so you can live fully in Him. (Phil 1:21)

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