"In the Middle of the Night Thoughts"
An Update on My Karen for March 31, 2017
There's something different about being up in the night, at least for me there is. Quietness is even quieter. Clocks that are ticking nearly scream "tick-tock." Fears, apprehensions, and just everyday thoughts are intensified in the middle of the night. I think the Psalmist felt the same way.
I read several passages of Scripture to Karen in the middle of the night. In Psalm 77:2 the writer speaks about stretching out his hands in the night. In fact he speaks of untiringly or unceasingly stretching out the hands. Several verses later he speaks about remembering those songs in the night (77:6). I wonder what his middle of the night songs were.
Being up in the night certainly gives one the opportunity of spending special time with the Lord. But it also gives me special time to hold my Karen's hand and think about our life together, our marriage, and now our present situation with cancer. Who could forget the disciples who were in the middle of the sea, in the middle of the storm, in the middle of the night? The Lord Jesus walked to them on the water and calmed their fears as He calmed the storm. I am in the midst of the ‘middle of the night’ kind of thoughts. Maybe someone else will need to think through such thoughts with me because you are in the middle of your situation in the middle of the night.
We have been on quite a journey together. Since January 1969 when she said "yes" that she would go on a date with me, we have never dated anyone else. Together we have walked side-by-side in parenting, being a pastor and wife, being just simple, plain, old-fashioned, Bible-believing folks who loved each other, loved our family, and loved the Lord.
So here we are now. I am torn. Part of me feels like I am standing at a fork in the road and my beloved is beginning to walk to the finish line and soon I will have to travel on without her. The pain is immense. We did everything together. I am a big bucket of mush, or at least that's how I feel. Yet another part of me is so very happy for her. She has been so sick for so very long. Adenocarcinoma is a wretched and painful disease. It is not reserved for smokers or folks who have been around second-hand smoke. Karen never, ever smoked nor was she around second-hand smoke. I am happy for her when I consider what is about to happen in her life.
- She is going to be immediately present with the Lord when she is absent from her body (2 Corinthians 5:8).
- She is going to actually see the Lord and worship Him face-to-face. The Lord Jesus told His Father that He wanted His people to be with Him where He is and to behold His glory (John 17:24).
- She is going to be reunited with her family who have gone on before her (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
- She is going to be free from pain, suffering, and cancer (Revelations 21:4).
- She is going to win the battle over cancer. Believe me the cancer is not victorious. She is more than a conqueror in Christ. God's people are ushered into the glories of Heaven either through persecution, physical injury, or illness. Cancer is not the winner. It is the vehicle God has chosen to use to take her Home (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
- She is faithfully proclaiming Christ even in these circumstances. We are beginning to learn some of the places in which my posts are being used. They have been used as the message in the morning service. They have been used with other cancer patients. They have been used in classrooms and Bible studies. She has the joy of experiencing a little of what the Apostle Paul wrote when he said that the things that happened to him had fallen out rather unto the preaching of the gospel (Philippians 1:12).
This weekend many of our children will be coming, and we will share together our joy and our sorrow. I have discovered that Karen has ministered to people in ways that she isn't even aware. I am wondering if I could ask you something? For our children's sake, if Karen has ministered to you in some way, even if it seems small to you, would you take a moment to share it with us? I want our children to see the impact of a life well lived. Email me at PastorMJP@aol.com. I know this doesn't give you much time. But if you would do this for my children and grandchildren, I would really appreciate it.
Thank you for your prayers. I will keep you posted. "Be with me where I am that they may behold my glory" (John 17:24) has become even more special to me in the last few days. I will keep you posted.