When a loved one is dying of cancer or any other illness for that matter how many of us find it difficult to praise God in and through the whole process? I think many of us would agree that praising God is not the first thing on our minds when walking down that road. Believe me I know the heart wrenching pain of seeing someone you love suffer. You see my brother Mike died of melanoma cancer which metastasized to his lungs eleven years ago and it was painful to see him go through so much. I remember it, like it was yesterday. Hospice came in and made him as comfortable as possible. Most of our immediate family was there at his side the whole weekend before he died. My son Tom was only four months old at the time and I can still see Mike’s smile as he looked at my son for the last time. Something I will never ever forget. Even knowing my brother was going to die my heart had joy because I knew where he was going and there would be no more pain for him in heaven. If it wasn’t for cancer I often wonder if my brother would had known the Lord. The best part is we who know and have received the Lord get to see him again. Now that is certainly something worth praising God about, don’t you think?!
His wife, children, and our family didn’t get what we wanted. We wanted Mike healed here on earth but we didn’t get what we wanted. Praying that His will be done and not ours is also pretty difficult when a loved one is dying right before your eyes. All I can say is God turns everything into good for those that love Him. Mike was a living testimony of God’s grace and mercy and we will never know how many lives he touched because he had Christ living in his heart. I often think of how awesome it must have been for Mike to get to heaven and to see just how many lives he touched because of Jesus. Mike was in a win-win situation. If he died he got to see Jesus that much sooner and if he lived he could still tell people about his Lord and Savior so either way you look at it he won!
Paul says in Philippians 1:21-23 (NLT) this;
21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. 22 But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. 23 I’m torn between two desires; I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.
This song was sung at my brother’s memorial service.
It Is Well With My Soul.