Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34
Are you one of those people who thinks that Jesus is just another one of those God-botherers whose mission in life was simply to rob us of any joy and happiness by telling us to live a life doing a bunch of religious stuff?
Annie and I have been following Him for over half of our lives and yet more recently it feels like the adventure has only just begun. In the last year we’re discovering more about how wonderful and liberating His commands actually are. Yes, we find that seeking to do what Jesus commands us to do is actually wonderfully liberating; it makes life better than it does if we were to ignore Him!
This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, – 1 John 5:3
It’s been exactly one month since the oncologist broke the news to us that our time together was likely to be cut tragically short by what they have labelled as ‘metastasised cancer cells’ that are intruding on my Annie’s lungs. So far, we’ve had ten awesome years together…but we always wanted to grow old together (and still do!). There’s still so much to do and see and discover and experience together.
It’s often all too easy to spend so much time thinking, planning and even worrying about the future, that we are pick-pocketed of any life and joy in the present.
Since our news, two things in particular are precious to us:
1. We treasure the gift of each day
We can’t guarantee we’ll have tomorrow. And if the oncologist’s prognosis is right, then the odds of increasingly healthier days are slim. These days, Annie and I keep short diaries and calendars seem surplus to requirement. This chapter of suffering has actually sharpened and heightened our sense of gratitude for this day that the Lord has made and given to us.
Today was a great day and much of it unexpected which made it even better. Firstly we had a great night’s sleep! Annie woke up at about 6am with some pain in her back which prompted us to start our day; and with eight hours uninterrupted sleep under the belt, we were ready for it! We had breakfast, a good time of prayer before the Lord and then I took Annie for her reflexology treatment at the hospice.
At the last minute we arranged to meet up with Ben, Rosie and Amanda for lunch at County Hall and had just a lovely time of fellowship together. Ben and Rosie came bearing gifts: a copy of a daily devotional ‘Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman’. Ben has a great track record with book recommendations after recently giving us a copy of a small book: ‘The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond‘ which in our houesehold goes under the new title ‘The Greatest Christian Book in the World by Annie Muliette’!
And loosely on the subject of greatest things in the world, The Orchard Cafe at County Hall serves what we all decided is probably ‘The Greatest Carrot Cake in the The World’.
Then it was off to the hospital for Annie’s CT scan. In case you are wondering, we are not expecting any results until at least the second week in November. But of course, we’ll keep you posted.
Annie was still walking on air after the reflexology treatment and then no sooner were we home from the scan, our sister Paula had arrived, armed with her physio plinth and two gifted hands ready to work on Annie’s back and legs! With an infectious smile, Annie said to me this evening:
My back is feeling, really, REALLY good!
Paula, if you are reading this, thank you so much! Thank you for being God’s caring and comforting hands and a channel of His blessing to us today.
Then while Annie was still getting treatment on her back, Ali and Ellie arrived with a lovely meal and some classic home-baked scripture cookies (thanks El!).
This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24
2. We treasure the commands of Jesus
One thing I can say for both of us is that there’s a growing number of new favourite verses of scripture in our armoury of joy and they are rooted in Jesus’ commands. Each day we just love opening up His Word so that we can discover what He actually wants us to do.
He commands us not to worry about tomorrow. And when we obey Him, our to-do lists are shorter, anxieties fewer and we have more time to enjoy Him.
One day Jesus is coming again and nobody knows the day or the hour. It might be this evening, so what good would it do worrying and stressing over wordly matters that might never see the light of another day on this earth?
Jesus has defeated death on behalf of all those who will listen to Him, trust Him and obey Him – what could His followers possibly have to really worry about? When He speaks the storm is stilled. When He speaks death is overcome by life everlasting. When He speaks demons are scared and they flee!
If He’s not your Lord and King then there’s only one matter that you absolutely must take care of this evening if you haven’t done so already. Let Him take the throne of your heart. Let Him fight the battles you can’t win. Let Him break the chains you can’t break. Let Him usher in the peace, the joy and the hope you couldn’t even imagine having.
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion. – Hebrews 3:15
For he says, “In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. – 2 Corinthians 6:2
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
For us, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21)