Several months ago, my friend’s husband was diagnosed with a rare, but treatable, form of cancer. Radiation, in the typical sense, and chemo were not needed. Hopes were hung on the proverbial hook of a “good prognosis”. After several months of trips to the cancer clinic, appointments with local doctors, and the constant onslaught of friendly visitors, life for my friend became tiring and overwhelming.
She is my age and has four children: three boys, the youngest thirteen, and one daughter in her early twenties with severe disabilities. My friend finds value and pleasure in simple things like pennies, ladybugs, and chickens scratching in the dirt. “They make my heart smile”, she says.
One day, while enjoying a few private moments conversing with her sweet groom of many years, he expressed his discerning and wise perspective on life, specifically his current life with cancer. The profound phrase he used was “eternal purposes”.
As my friend shared this with me, the landscape on which i saw my life shifted just a bit. On this Christmas day, this phrase has taken on new dimensions as the impact of the meaning has seeded, grown roots, and begun to augment my view on living this life. Eternal purposes. Today, my friend shares, captures sweet memories with her family and the husband of her youth who is now with hospice. The gift of life on this earth with loved ones is precious and dear, but there’s more. There’s always more with God.
Over 2000 years ago, God gave us the cherished Gift of His Son. Jesus Christ was born to die for mankind — eternal purposes. This Gift, “God with Us”, was given for the eternal purpose of hope that we would have a relationship with an almighty God. Because Emmanuel was born and obeyed His Father’s will, we have hope beyond the grave, and even in death, His name will be declared!
Today, we may find presents under the tree. As i watch my dear friend live life, i see that we are showered with various gifts everyday. They are gifts of grace, strength, perseverance, love, and truth. As we take note of who placed what gift under the tree in order to snap a quick email of thanks to family and friends, may we, also, take note of the “gifts” God gives daily in order that we may live life fully, knowing each gift is for an eternal purpose.
Merry Christmas, everyone!