After my last blog entry, I received an e-mail from a 44-year-old unmarried woman with cancer who feels like the possibility of ever having children is passing her by. I thought my response to her might be helpful to someone else, so I am posting it here:
“The thing God has taught me the most through losing a child is that this world is not our real home if we are in Christ. God has promised ETERNAL life to those who have accepted the free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Eternity is a very, very, very long time. It's forever. This life we are living right now isn't the real life. It's only preparing us for the perfect home that all of us really desire. In that home and in that day, noone will ever be sick. Noone will ever die. And listen to this passage from Isaiah 54. "'Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,' says the Lord." (Is. 54:1)
Don't think that just because you aren't married and have cancer that this is your last shot. It isn't. Everyone talks about their biological clock ticking. Well, there's not going to be a biological clock in heaven and on the new earth. Do you realize everything will be made new? Everything. You are going to have a life you could only dream of someday if you cling to Jesus as your very own husband. Seek God, and the treasures of heaven will be yours. There will be no tears there, no fears either. It will be perfect. Hang onto that hope, and you will see your faith become sight!!!
I personally can't wait. But while I'm here, I hope to do my part to help others come along to heaven with me, because I am certain, completely certain, that I am going there. Nothing could ever take me away from God. Nothing. "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, not things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)
So, don't limit yourself to this world and this time. You'll have plenty of time over there. But, again, while you're here, pursue God, pursue righteousness, and don't let the opportunity to help someone in need pass you by. You have a lot to give. Those who have suffered with Christ have an insight into what God really desires from people. We need to understand that this world isn't about pursuing worldly pleasures, but it's about pursuing holiness. And you can certainly pursue holiness without children, a husband, and with cancer. Stand firm. Fight the good fight, and run your race. Don't give up on God, and who knows? You could be married and cancer free next year. God knows, and you have to trust Him. His ways are always the best ways, even if they seem bad at the time.
I really recommend the book I am reading right now, Randy Alcorn's If God is Good; Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil. It is absolutely perfect for those who have suffered. I'm going to give you just a tidbit from the book here to give you an idea of why I love this book so much. "Josef Tson, who faced much evil in communist Romania, told me, 'This world, with all its evil, is God's deliberately chosen environment for people to grow in their characters. The character and trustworthiness we form here, we take with us there, to Heaven. Romans and 1 Peter make clear that suffering is grace from God. It is a grace given us now to prepare us for living forever.'" (Chapter 37, page 393)
So, you see, we're able to face our challenges here in this world if we believe that we are to "rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:3-4) "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." (Colossians 3:1-2)
I really do understand your desire to have children. They are joy inexpressible, yet with them comes much pain and suffering. Every child has hurts and struggles here in this world. So, think of it like this, you may get to have and raise children in heaven and on the new earth without having to ever watch them cry or suffer or be left out. I try to look at my future life with Bronner that way. His 2 1/2 years here on earth were good, but they are nothing compared to what they will be on a new, restored, and perfect earth unmarred by sin, shame, or death. I believe that Rick and I will get to raise Bronner up on that new earth free from all fear, pain, or suffering but rather in complete joy, awe, and wonder. And maybe, just maybe, this could end up really being God's blessing and not His curse. Bronner's childhood there will be so much better than it could have been here. My boys who are left here with me truly believe that Bronner is in a better place than they are, especially the younger one. Brody is looking forward to heaven and seeing his baby brother more than you could ever imagine. It's amazing to see children who are looking forward to Christ's return, who pray for it everyday, and who eagerly long for heaven and the perfection that will come when this world is restored.”
Keeping the faith,