I recently had the opportunity to respond to the blog of a friend, Dillon,* who suffers from a life-threatening disease. In his blog Dillon related the difference between “fading away” and “going out with a bang.” Immediately after reading his heart-felt thoughts, I was inclined to respond with the hope of the gospel. Below is my letter to which Dillon thoughtfully replied and which has opened up a channel for further sharing.
Dillon, thanks for your recent posting. I can relate to you vicariously through my son Bryan, whose radiation treatments as a child and recent stroke have rendered him with an uncertain road. I'd like to share with you what has been my greatest encouragement for over 50 years. My Dad introduced me to God's Son, Jesus. The simple introduction was that He loved me and that He came to earth and died for my sins and that He would forgive me for my wrongs if I would trust and follow Him. Since the age of four that has been my quest.
It seems like lots of people get hung up over religion. Consequently, many turn from God or distrust Him for a variety of reasons. I'm not a fan of religion. But I am deeply committed to a relationship with God. I have found that He guides me and loves me in indescribable ways. I see His transcending love in times of deep pain, in times of peace, in times of questions, in times of fear, in great victories and celebrations and in quiet moments of reflection. Dillon, it is the personal relationship with God that gives me and Bryan hope and the joy that flows at all levels of life. A group of friends with me experienced His actual presence during a corporate time of prayer for Bryan's healing from his brain tumor in 1991.
Perhaps most surprisingly and profound is that I've learned that life is not about me, it's about God. Life lived for Him is filled with purpose and is simply glorious. One of Jesus' most powerful followers was a man by the name of Paul. Before he died, he said:
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time for my departure is close. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. There is reserved for me in the future the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6-8).
Dillon, my prayer for you is that you will find that personal relationship with Jesus that gives you the hope of eternity. I want to celebrate someday with you your new body and victory in heaven. There is no greater joy and satisfaction than resting secure in God's love. I encourage you to read in the Bible Romans 10:9,10 and take action!
You are a tremendous man, leader, fighter, grad, husband, and father. I count it an honor to be your friend. I hope that I can give to you the greatest gift possible--the encouragement to place your faith in a real, awesome Savior. You don't have to fade, or go out with a bang, there is another option, the option to go out victoriously confident that you will be restored permanently by God and with Him for a fantastic future. I'd love to talk to you more about this if you are interested. Keep encouraged!
Your fellow traveler,
*Not his real name
©2015 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the "Click here to receive weekly devotionals" box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)