“One day it will be over. But it’s not about how long I have left. It’s about how I spend the time I do have.”
Pastor Ed, who has been on a journey with ALS, a deadly disease without cure, said so in his short films, “Ed’s story” I saw recently in the adult education class at the church.
He feels he is getting close to death day by day. In spite of that, he’s found the purpose to live and hope in Christ.
When he learned that he would be in a wheel chair depending on tubes for nutrition and breathing, and eventually become unable to speak and die in 2-5 years, he, who had given hope to so many as a pastor, fell into dark bottomless pit.
He was neither able to open the Bible nor even pray.
Yet from there, dragging his heavy heart, he began to copy a Bible verse on a card. On the first card he copied the verse:
“‘ I will never fail you. I will never leave you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘the Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear.'” ( Hebrew 13:5-6)
He had to read this verse, every day, many times a day.
When his youngest son was deployed to Iraq, Ed gave the card to him, whom might not come back again alive. Ed had to give his son’s life and Ed’s future to God over and over.
After a while, his son came back safely. Ed, who thought he would not be able to make it to next Christmas, losing a job, future, purpose, hope–everything, is also still alive 10 years after his diagnosis.
“When we worry about tomorrow, we often miss out on the beauty, richness, and fulfillment of today,” but,
“‘ Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?'” (Matthew 6:26)
” God is taking care of me. It’s not over until it’s really over.”
From ground zero, where he lost everything, Ed wanted to follow Jesus and live like Jesus again. As he began, people who had ALS like Ed, came to him one by one.
At the place of desperation, God gave Ed a new assignment, and Ed found the new purpose to live; new hope in Christ.
In front of the great fear of death, human beings are so helpless, but with God, who gave his only Son Jesus to defeat death, we never lose hope! Even if our body deteriorates, the love continually feeds and strengthens us!
” Fear not! For I am with you.”
I want to remember God’s powerful promise until the very end, just like Ed.