Thursday, September 8, 2016

Don't Lose it All in the End Game

It was too hot to wear my new cowgirl boots outside, so I sat inside reading a great book while wearing my new boots. I am not positive I will keep them so I can't walk outside yet in them anyway. When I finish radiation (September 20!), if I still love them, I will keep them and pack them for my celebration trip to NY. It is always cold in NY by late September.

Meanwhile, on the broken rib front, every deep breath hurts. However, the experts on the internet say this is expected for the next month...or two...That is why in the picture above I am sitting reading a book while wearing my new boots.

I did go on a long walk (8 1/2 miles) in the morning, but it does hurt to move. I yawn a lot on my morning long walk, maybe because my broken rib impedes a good night's sleep. Anyway, with each yawn, the deep intake of oxygen causes sharp stabs of pain. By the end of the day, I have no desire to do anything but gaze at my good book and new boots. (As my dear friend Gina told me, "Never underestimate the power of a good pair of shoes or boots." Amen!)

The radiation techs all mentioned that I was in the homestretch...almost done. They understand how hard it is to persevere as one's skin grows increasingly red and itchy, and every day one must not miss the treatment time. Six weeks is a long time to be slowly fried every day. Today, while I lay on the radiation table and the machine whirred around me delivering its potent dose of cancer killer, I repeated in my head, "Just eight more treatments after this one! Praise God."

Sometimes, the homestretch is the hardest part. You just want to be DONE. I remember the last few days of pregnancy were like that. Somehow eight months fly by, and then that ninth month drags like eternity.

This is when many of us fail. In the homestretch. It is such a pervasive problem that God warns us several times in the Bible not to lose the fight in the final punch of the match. Persevere till the end. Finish well.

He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. God will do His part...but we must do ours.

Hang in there.

Complete it. Finish it, giving the glory to God despite the fatigue, despite the long suffering, despite the sense that a day of redemption and justice will never get here.

It will. We are almost there. Finish the good fight well.

James 1:12 

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

More than that, we 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.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

If we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;

As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. ...

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