Okay. Time to throw cancer out out the back door of my mind. Jerry is done with radiation. I won’t pick him up from the cancer center this afternoon. Surely, that door will just slam shut. Denial is my friend.
It’s my friend because it’s unconscious. I don’t even know I’m doing it. I just go blithely on my way, leaving those nasty deathbed images piled up in the backyard, where I never venture.
Suppression is the conscious version of denial. I’ll probably have to settle for that. I’ll install a lock on the back bedroom so when those hospital images come, I can herd them back there and lock them in. Then, in the room where I live, I’ll pull out the faith file and plaster the walls with God words and images.
Faith, Hebrews says, is being “sure of what we hope for.” What, exactly, can I be sure of? What can I hope for? Those seem like two different arenas. I can be sure that Jesus will be with us, through anything. He will provide, protect, confront, and comfort us. I can be sure that “your will be done” is always a good prayer. I do hope for his will to be done, but short-term, I don’t always want it.
I want to hope for twenty more good years. I can put up pictures of traveling the Oregon coast and taking grandboy to the zoo and snuggling together every morning. But who can be sure?
I heard recently about a woman who’d been so afraid to fly she always took trains. Then she died while driving her car a mile from home when somebody pulled out in front of her. Suddenly, she’s in eternity.
Let’s hope for what we can be sure of when we approach that gate made of a single pearl. Jesus will have triumphed over cancer, one way or another. Papa-God is watching at the window for us. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father and the Son, has carried us through, beyond the deathbed, to life that lasts forever.
Father, give us grace to hope for what we can be sure of.