May You Have a Happy New Year’s Eve

Guess I’ve never written two posts in one day, but there’s always room for a change of pace. It’s on my heart to mention that we’ve been praying for our many dear friends who have had to spend this Christmas without their mate for the first time since being married. Alan has two cousins who lost their spouses this fall, and he had two close colleagues who died suddenly this year. Carleen’s Grandma is alone this Christmas, having lost her beloved husband just after Thanksgiving. And, last—and maybe one of the very hardest—was our friend who lost his wife last weekend. Bill was diagnosed just a few weeks ago with a very aggressive, advanced prostate cancer and was trying valiantly to deal with his own terminal illness when his wife—who’d just been skiing with their kids last week—felt ill over the weekend. They took her into the E.R. and she died within two hours from a ruptured aorta. The funeral was today. We are all feeling totally stunned by this one. They were both 68 and seemed the picture of health two months ago.

Last night Alan and I went out with another couple, some of our closest friends and long-time members of the same care group. Cheryl was a paragon of trust in the Lord and bravery during her battle with breast cancer several years ago, and we were just beginning to think she was out of danger when she got some negative lab results. I took her in for a CAT scan a couple of weeks ago, and her oncologist says she thinks it’s lung cancer, although we won’t know for sure until further testing next week. Cheryl is just barely into her fifties, so this is especially devastating news.

I don’t want to end the year on a sad note, but I do want to say that 2009 has been unprecedented for us personally in wonderful highs (like three weddings and a new grand baby) and then so many, many sorrows and deaths. It is so true that we do not know how long we’ll live.  A major source of comfort to Alan and me in all these heartaches has been knowing that in each case, the person we love belongs to God and has made peace with Him through faith in Christ. We look forward to being reunited with our loved ones in heaven some day.

I would like to challenge anyone who reads this to consider whether or not they have made peace with God. In 2 Corinthians 6:2 the Bible says, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31). I hope that for each of us, one of our New Year’s resolutions is to live with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and to live in the peace and security of knowing and walking with God.

May we all have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and a very blessed and happy 2010!

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