Making the most of every day that remains

I got the news four days ago that I have cancer. Just a little over a month ago, I felt fine. The last thing on my mind was the possibility of having a life threatening disease. Then, at a Super Bowl party at a friend’s house, I ate some tasty home-made pepperoni pizza which I thought gave me indigestion that lasted into the next day. But, over the next couple weeks I had worsening stomach and bowel symptoms that landed me in the ER at 5:00am on a Saturday morning. A CT scan revealed a tumor on my pancreas and a subsequent biopsy showed that it was malignant. It was all so unexpected.

If you know about pancreatic cancer you know that the survival statistics aren’t encouraging. As a person who believes in God and follows Jesus Christ, I believe that he can heal–and I’m asking him to! But that isn’t always his plan. This means that I’m facing the possibility of leaving this world sooner, maybe a lot sooner, than I anticipated. As you might imagine, this has led me to do some serious thinking. If my time here is short, what am I going to do? What are my priorities? Here is what I have arrived at: Make the most of the time I have, whether long or short, by facing each day with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22 & 23, ESV). Breaking this down, it starts with loving God, trusting him, and living each day with his peace, love and joy in my heart. Next, It’s loving the people in my life. Treating everyone with patience, love and kindness, regardless of my pain or fatigue. 

I want to use each day that remains to bless each person who crosses my path by helping them move closer to God and to show God’s goodness to everyone. It might seem paradoxical to talk about God’s goodness when he has not prevented me from getting cancer. But, I trust him, and whether he heals me (through a miracle or through medicine), or not I believe that he is good and his plan for me is the best possible plan.