By Martin Schlomer
“Overwhelmed” describes my emotions this week. There are no easy outs to the painful dilemmas many people we know are facing. Their only option is to endure. This isn’t a bad thing; it’s just neither easy nor pleasant.
Our lives are both fragile and short. I know it doesn’t always feel like it, but they are. James said that this life is like a vapor; here today and gone tomorrow (James 4.14-15). How often do we ask, “Where has the time gone?” Honestly, this truth is unsettling! Why? I realize that I make a big deal over this very short earthly existence. This is not unreasonable. This reality is all I’ve experienced. Therefore, it seems reasonable to make a big deal over it, to hang on and fight for it.
However, there is another perspective, which I am trying to bring into my experience. This is the hope and reality of eternity. Instead of making a big deal over a very short and fragile period of time—70 years if we are fortunate—I want to loosen my grip on the here and now and make a big deal over our eternal existence. Eternity will never end! This is what counts! Preparing for this reality and living in light of this truth is the big deal! Without this perspective we easily lose hope.
At Elim, we enjoy the presence of those who are confronted with these painful realities of their immortality. Nancy and Doug Ide, to mention just two, are right there as they continue to fight the cancer in Nancy’s body through prayer and medicine. As they fight this battle, one can easily despair. However, as I pray for her I ask God, in addition to her healing, to overwhelm and speak to them with His presence—through His Holy Spirit—in a way that surpasses what human words can accomplish. This is what is happening! Nancy continues to hold onto Jesus as He holds onto her! While her circumstances are difficult, her peace is compelling! I want that kind of peace!
Please, continue to pray for Doug and Nancy along with Bethany, Taylor, Brian, and Andrew and his wife, Micha. Pray that God will meet them in this sacred time in those places words cannot touch!
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. — 1 Peter 1:3-8