Sunday, May 23, 2010

Thanks be to God

Samuel Johnson is credited with saying “Nothing so wonderfully concentrates the mind as the prospect of a hanging.” That is undoubtedly true of any prospective event that drives home one's mortality.

A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I may still have cancer — but not prostate cancer because I no longer have a prostate, it was removed last Tuesday [and that explains my absence from One Eternal Day for the remainder of last week]. I should know by the end of this coming week whether a serious problem remains.

Anything that is a reminder of mortality can be a good thing because it should "concentrate the mind" on ultimate things — the most important things.

Paul wrote, concerning the hope that we have:
...[T]his perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (I Corinthians 15:53-58, ESV)