Write In Between

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Free Fall into a Blanket of Mercy

This post continues a look back at my cancer story.

While I was in Steubenville, I understood more and more about the great mercy of God. And what it meant to have a living hope, and more importantly, WHO the Living Hope is.

During Mass, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and Eucharistic Adoration the mercy of God forgave me, reconciled me, and drew me into the intimacy of the Sacred Heart. I was suspended there while God prepared and repaired my heart. He chose me, and reminded me of the true grace and faith of the earlier call he gave me in my life. Having believed, I was marked and sealed in the Holy Spirit. The "eyes of my heart were enlightened that I might know the HOPE TO WHICH HE HAS CALLED ME, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." (Ephesians 1: 18-19 NIV)

His great mercy enveloped me in a very deep, deep state of grace...deeper than any phase of my adult life thus far. I just wanted to embrace Jesus, and sought out anything that he gave to me. I submitted to him, committed to him, renewing my life with him in a profound way.

I always knew and believed in the mercy, and I had flexed some of those spiritual muscles at other difficult times in my life. But none of those things had the power, or potential, to kill me (like cancer could.) I never had to stake my life, my life's very breath, on it. It was spiritual "free fall", with nothing between death and me but a blanket of mercy.

That weekend the Lord gave me a scriptural anchor to base the rest of my life on. (The Red highlights are my own--to remember the power of that Word.) It's listed here:

1 Peter 1: 3-25 (NIV)

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

10Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

17Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you.

Copyright 2006 Patricia W. Gohn

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