The day began with everything coated in a glorious white frost, the air was thick with a heavy fog and as we drove through it the sun began beaming through so powerfully it was almost blinding. My friend with me said, “Wow, it’s like we’re driving straight into heaven.” That’s what it felt like in that glorious moment.
The fog lifted and it became a beautiful pristine day where Mount Hood stood tall and proud in the distance and the air was crisp and refreshing. You have to take in these moments, breath them in deeply and be thankful for it because you just don’t know what the rest of the day holds.
As I was driving to my doctors appointment I was basking in the amazing day. But when I arrived at the hospital and opened the door of the cancer center (that’s where my hematologist is located) I was quickly reminded that today may not be like driving into heaven for some. I was not there for cancer, but a blood disorder that I recently found out I have. It’s not life threatening, merely a nuisance really that I have to be aware of. But most of those people are there because life has thrown them a scary curve ball. There were the older people in the room, clearly struggling with a disease and they had their family or a friend with them, there was a young couple that were leaving and she had the look of horror and fear on her face like life would never be the same. Another young man, with no hair, tall and thin, quickly left while trying to not look at anyone in the eyes, alone. Then there was the jovial couple who came out and you could tell that he was the one who was trying to make the most of his situation and cheering others up around him. Down the hall there are people in chairs, hooked up to tubes receiving their chemo, the blessed poison as I’ve heard some call it. I don’t really know all their stories, but they have one that probably involves cancer or they wouldn’t be there. That is a hard reality.
As I drove home, the sun beginning to set shedding pink light over the beautiful mountain and the golden trees that are still refusing to shake their leaves. I was reminded of the passage in 2 Cor. 4:1, 7-9 & 15-18 (I’ve been coming back to this spot a lot lately) where it says,
Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry we do not lose heart…. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed…. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore, we do not lose heart though outwardly we are wasting away yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
No matter our situation, blood disease or cancer, financial stress, or housing dilemma, we can still be renewed inwardly by the God who cares for us. I’m praying that no matter how sweet or how stressful your holiday season may be already or if you feel like you’re driving into the glory of heaven or straight into hell that you would be renewed by God’s grace and power. As I look at the nativity scene right now it’s hard to see Jesus as anything but the picture of love for me. (It’s hard to see hate or anger or any other negative thing in the face of a baby now isn’t it?) And no matter how hard the trial is, one day, if we know and love Jesus, the one who gave it all for me (for you), we will surely be heading straight into that glorious heaven (the unseen now but eternal) and that will indeed be sweet.