It’s been three and a half months since my last update on my sister. Nearly every day someone writes to tell me they are still praying for her. So first of all let me say thanks so much for your prayers! Her brain cancer has progressed and this will most likely be the last update message I write before she dies, but please know that the last nine months have been a wonderful and peace-filled blessing.
If you would like to read the history you can read the following:
My sister and her family made the transition from Australia to the US the end of May and they were able to stay at our home in Texas for two weeks during the first part of June. This was an incredible time. During her visit she was able to walk, with help, eat lots of anything she wished, carry full conversations, and we even made several trips to the local heated swimming pool where she swam many laps with the help of a floatation belt.
After she left our home, she and her family began a long trip with the intent of visiting family and seeing some of the sights in the western US. She made it as far as Los Angeles, California before becoming too weak to travel. She spent some time in hospitals in Los Angeles and Seattle before being transferred to Omaha, Nebraska where her family planned to settle. Once in Omaha she was almost immediately moved to a hospice care facility and given just weeks to live.
I am now sitting beside my baby sister, watching her sleep, knowing I will soon never watch her sleep again.
It’s been an interesting process over the last months as the family has had to think about, and ponder, death; but more importantly, to think about life. Thinking about the end of life, especially at an early age, causes one to consider what it really means to live.
1 John 4:10-11
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
My sister knew that God loved her and sent Jesus to die for her sin. But what she also knew, better than most, was that the way to live out God’s love was to love others in very real and tangible ways. We sometimes can become too evangelical, where our definition of love becomes limited to a message of the forgiveness of sin and an eternal bliss. Of course, this message is important, but the gospel, or “good news,” is actually much more; and even better! The gospel message is about forgiveness, but it is also about love and hope right now. It’s about peace and contentment, about restored relationships, fulfillment and true joy. The Good News is about a future salvation, but it’s also about a salvation which begins today!
The gospel caused my sister to tell people about Jesus; but it also caused her to pour herself into the lives of everyone she met. She had a sense of purpose that understood her role in bringing about a true gospel change in another life through love. And for my sister, this love meant getting involved at a level which cost her time, energy, and money. I have spent many years studying and writing about the gospel, but the last several months have shown me I have a lot to learn in order to live out the gospel according to my baby sister.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries