“Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” – Isaiah 43:1-3
I'm clinging to this truth lately. Admittedly, my grip is weak some days. Most days. It's agonizing to watch the strong, comforting, tender, intelligent, hardworking man I am privileged to call my Daddy lie in a hospital bed, losing the battle with the cruel enemy we call cancer. It is unfair. It isn't right. He had so much to see and do. I wanted a lot more years with him. He didn't deserve this sudden blow. I can't imagine what he is feeling. He wants desperately to live, but it seems as if he realizes he doesn't have a lot of time left. All we can do is spend each day loving him, letting him know he is not alone through this.
I'm not giving up hope for healing. I believe our God is Healer and Restorer and could change this with a single word. However, as Dad gets weaker, it seems as if God's answer this time might very well be a "no". I pray that Dad has some good weeks and months left with us. I pray that he can enjoy his family pain-free and alert. It appears as if the answer to that prayer might be a "no", as well.
The heartache doesn't go away. Sometimes when recalling a memory, looking at a picture or imagining special days and occasions without Daddy, the pain comes so suddenly it takes my breath. I know there will be more of those days. It is only by God's grace that I'm not a useless mess most of the time lately. He has consistently "shown up" through this. He has given my amazing brother(who not only has handled the logistical matters, but has been there for us to fall apart on), the stamina and compassion to get through this and bring untold comfort to Daddy. He has been in the countless words, phone calls and hugs from people all around us--some, who barely know us. He promised to never leave us through the pain, and He hasn't. He won't.
But the pain is still pain. We still question why it has to be this way. This cancer, though it seems like the enemy, is only the symptom of the real issue. This world is marred by sin and the death--spiritual and physical. We know we have hope through the one who overcame sin and death once, for all. We know because Daddy put his trust in Christ long ago, that this is not the end for him. It is a joyful beginning.
But oh, how hopeless it feels.