Tag Archives: Fight the good fight

Your charge – and mine (+ update)

 

What’s on your to-do list today? No doubt there are tasks to accomplish, problems to solve, routines that need attending. Hopefully, you’ve included some enjoyable activity to celebrate the end of the work week and some earned time off. And we need rest and relaxation. We need to “recharge our batteries” and renew our minds. It’s part of life’s ebb and flow of energy.

 

But instead of living for our time off, maybe we should focus our time off to hone our skills for what is yet to come, the very purpose for our living.

 

Paul’s letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 4) focuses on that purpose. I think we need the same reminder today. At least, I do. It’s so easy to get distracted that our real purpose gets put on the top shelf, out of sight – out of mind.  Here are the highlights that Paul reminds Timothy to keep in his sights. I wonder which ones will speak urgently to you today?

 

In the presence of God and Jesus, I give you this charge:

    • Preach the Word. (Whether in word or action, our life is supposed to reflect Jesus.)
    • Be prepared (at all times). We set aside savings for a “rainy day.” We make deposits in our “faith account” so we can draw on that faith when times are tough. Shouldn’t we let his Word take root in our souls today so it can bear fruit tomorrow?
    • Correct, rebuke, and encourage others with great patience and careful instruction.  “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” Be truthful but also be humble, gentle and patient.
    • Keep your head in all situations.  Stay alert. Remember the reason you’re alive today. Rely on God’s Spirit to guide you, not your “instinct.”
    • Endure hardship. Endurance builds our character and brings us to our reward. Instead of trying to escape our inescapable trials, how can we use these to draw us closer to God, and others?
    • Fight the good fight. Finish the race. Keep the faith. Reach for the prize.  Don’t give up.
    • Be on your guard. Remember, your strength comes from God.

Guard against that which deceives you, robs your joy, and distracts you from your life purpose.

  • Be filled with God’s grace. Grace is what marks us as God’s children. Shouldn’t it be our defining mark as we interact with others?

 

The reason we “recharge our batteries” is so that we will be able to carry out our charge for living. Let’s hold up our passions and activities against our charge so we too can “finish the race” well.

 

imageSpeaking of recharging batteries, I’ll be recharging mine for the next 3-4 weeks at the Mercy Hospital Resort Suites. My leukemia has relapsed 2 1/2 years post transplant. So it’s time for another seven days of chemo that will take me down and then some time to build me back up again.  We’re thankful for God’s mercy which is evident even in this situation, and certainly in whatever battles you face. We trust him for whatever outcome he chooses, and we’re thankful for the prayers of our little friend Brisa (and beloved Delia) in Bolivia, and for your prayers too. Live life to the fullest. Hug those you love. Be vigilant of the time you have.  Guard your heart. Draw close to God.

 

 

Waiting

There is apparently is a lot of waiting with Leukemia treatment:
Waiting to complete first round of chemo – 7 days
Waiting for the chemo to finish it’s work – another 7-10 days
Waiting for your digestive system and energy to return – (unknown)
Waiting for the immune system to ‘start’ itself again -7 to 10 days+
Waiting for the bone marrow biopsy test results – couple days
*Repeat process as needed*

We are about ten days from learning whether the second round of chemo knocked the cancer down. The goal at this point is simply remission. There will be more waiting to determine next treatment steps if/when remission is achieved by this attempt.

Today was one of those days when you walk across the room and lie back down. Then later there is enough energy to take a short walk. I got off unit privileges today so was able to get a breath of fresh air for the first time in 39 days. That was pretty special!

The Bible is filled with true stories of waiting. It seems a prerequisite for everything good. And we don’t need to worry because the Bible is a manual for practical living by faith. I think some of the best instructions the Bible gives is to keep on believing and to put that faith to work; to set yourself apart from the way the rest of the world responds to things (worry, fear, speculation); and to seek the peace that Jesus offers in the middle of any storm.

If you have to wait for something, it seems that holding on to your faith is an essential strategy. What do you think?

“Fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.”
1 Timothy 1:18b-19