Daily Devotionals by Ardith Keef

      Do you have cancer? My dad did. As a matter of fact, he had it for thirty years.
      The fight began when I was a teenager, and of course in those days, no one survived. But he more than survived.. Yes, he fought and fought, and he probably had every known treatment.
     But you see, it was my father's purpose in living to spend his life for the Lord. He was there every time the church door was open. If there was a need, he simply assumed he was appointed to be among those responsible to fill the need. Our home was always filled with guests, and even the day before he died, he had company for dinner.
     Over and over a new tumor would appear and he would take the treatment. He was weak, sick to his stomach, and it couldn't have been pleasant. But he never missed a chance to make someone smile or to tell them about the Lord.
     Dad was much happier with the cancer than without it. It wasn't that the cancer itself did anything great, but he simply took stock of how to spend the time, and spent it more carefully according to God's Word.
     He decided to thank God for the illness, to assume that God in His sovereignty knew what He was doing, and to prepare for eternity by loving others more intensely.
     If I had not known what he was going through, I would not have known he was sick. You know why? Because it wasn't very interesting to him. His cancer did not get the attention in his life that the needs of others got.
     He had periods of remission - one of them for almost twelve years. But with the illness or without, he radiated the same joy, sang the same boisterous volume, and looked eagerly to tell others about Jesus.
     Ultimately he died of liver cancer, and was incredibly bloated. He couldn't move his arms much, and had to be fed, but all who came to visit left encouraged and uplifted.
     That is the kind of transition God gives those who will gaze upon Him.
I miss my dad, but I wouldn't trade anything for the example I saw in his slow death.
     Eternity is without measure. Once we have received Christ, we must learn to live and die for Him. Learning to die beautifully is something our children know little about today because they are shielded, and because we have moved away from honoring lingering patriarchs.
     What a beautiful example is Jesus' death on the cross - pain and suffering while bearing the sin and guilt of us all. How lovingly He attended to those around Him.
     Lord Jesus, please take my life and do with it what will glorify you the most.
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