Friday, August 3, 2012

A Heavenly Body

I spent some time yesterday inside a scanner "tunnel." The machine buzzed and hummed and moved around me searching from head to toe for signs of that cancer. I had to lay there completely still for 24 minutes. I always use this time to talk things over with the Lord. It has been 5 years ago this month since the mammogram that found my cancer, so I've been through quite a few of these scans. I used to think of these scans as just a formality to confirm that the cancer was still gone, but since it returned so aggressively I can't help but wonder which part of my body it will invade next.

After 5 years of various treatments my poor body has gotten quite beat up. I know I can never expect to feel 100% again because of the damage done to it. With each symptom, ache or pain I wonder if it's caused by the cancer, or a side effect of medications, damage from treatments, or just plain growing old.

Of course I pray for God's miraculous and complete healing, and I believe that He could if it was His will. But I'm just not sure that it is. Does that mean I have a lack of faith? No way. I know that God designed this earthly body of mine to only last a certain number of years. This body is destined to break down, wear out, and fall apart. So at some point some part is going to give out and I'll be trading it in for a new heavenly body. Some days I really look forward to that body!

 I thought back on conversations I've had with friends lately. As we get older (50's and 60's) it seems like our conversations include much more about our latest pains and illnesses. We used to laugh about our parents' same conversations, but now our kids are teasing US. Yeah, 50 or 60 used to sound ANCIENT to me when I was younger, but as I reach those numbers myself it doesn't seem so old any more! But now our bodies are limiting us and won't let us do nearly all the things we'd like to.

Our hair is gray, white, or falling out. Or better yet -- it's sprouting out of places it never grew before! Our joints ache and tell us when a storm is coming. We have to buy "comfortable shoes" now to accommodate our ingrown toenails. Charlie horses send us leaping from bed in the middle of the night. Our calendar fills up with various doctor appointments and we can't even read it without our bifocals on. All of this is really no surprise, it just seems so foreign when it starts happening to YOU! God warned us in Psalm 103:14-16:
"For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, and its place acknowledges it no longer."
 Probably the part I hate the most is food limitations. We have to watch our calories, cholesterol, sugar, Vitamin K, you name it! Anyone reading this who's under 30 has either tuned out or is laughing hysterically at the "old people" -- but trust me, you'll be here too someday. I would dearly love to travel the world, go to exotic restaurants and sample their wares without ever having to give a thought to what ingredients are in it that might make me sick.

John & I have annual passes to Disneyland which they have graciously agreed to put on hold for us until I am well enough to use again. We haven't been in 2 or 3 years now and I miss it so much. Sure wish I had the strength and stamina to do it (even in a wheelchair). Occasionally I can manage a shopping trip to Walmart, as long as their motorized carts are fully charged. We went last night and John pushed me around in a wheelchair cart -- small children stared at me like I was an alien, but it was still great to get out of the house.

My heavenly body will never tire out, never lose hair, never sag or wrinkle. Never get a headache or heartburn. It's going to be wonderful to eat whatever I please -- I look forward to that marriage feast! The Bible tells us that our new bodies will be imperishable (oh, I love that word!), perfected, glorious, powerful, immortal, changed. Read that again slowly and take a moment to savor that thought! You can't help but long for that!
"Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality." I Corinthians 15:51-53
"Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is." I John 3:2

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