Wonder or Worry?

thumbs upA few weeks ago I received an email from a friend who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. He mentioned that for a number of years, before getting out of bed, he would recite the twenty-third Psalm. After the diagnosis, that Psalm took on new meaning.

You can imagine what I found myself doing a few days later while still lying in bed. Yes, reciting the twenty-third Psalm. What powerful words!

That last verse struck me in a new way. "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Surely. No doubt there! It's certain.

Goodness. What God defines as "good" is, by all means, exactly that. Good. No hint of "bad" in it. Sure, everything might not be looking so good today, but we can be still, knowing that God will make good of it. (Remember Joseph: what his brothers meant for evil, God intended for good!)

Mercy. Ah, isn't that refreshing? God not giving me what I deserve. And He promises mercy? Absolutely amazing!

Shall follow me. Now this is getting personal. No doubt, His goodness and mercy will follow me. Have you ever been followed by someone you wished would go away? Well, here we have quite the opposite: being followed by goodness and mercy.

All the days of my life. All means all. Do we believe that? This is absolutely comforting because our days are numbered, and only God knows what that number is. Maybe you are dealing with a life-threatening illness, a traumatic relationship, grief from the death of someone you love...you fill in the blank. Has there been an experience that's helped you face the reality of death?

For me, it's been this cancer diagnosis. I'm not saying I feel like a victim because quite honestly I don't. I'm fighting this battle, and I'm pretty determined! Smile But I am saying that the diagnosis has changed my perspective on life and death.

A few months after this whole journey began, I saw a funeral procession driving down Weber Road in Bolingbrook. The sight hit me like a ton of bricks. Mind you, I've attended scores of funerals in my life, many of which I played the organ for and many at which I simply grieved. So, funeral processions weren't an unusual thing for me to see or even be a part of.

But that day was different. I looked at that hearse from a different perspective, hoping my body wouldn't be in one too soon, thinking of the ones I loved and didn't want to leave behind. That was the day I realized my perspective on death had changed.

Now when I hear of a dear one who has passed from this earth due to those cancer cells overtaking the body, I grieve for their loved ones and pray those cancer cells will not find a home in me.

All the days of my life. I don't know the number of them. At times, I may wonder, but I don't need to worry. Instead, I can be confident that goodness and mercy will fill every single one of the days I have left. And if the Lord is your Shepherd, rest assured that mercy and goodness will be following close behind you too! Don't worry about tomorrow. Instead, wonder what great things God is going to do next.