Life From Death

The irony does not escape me that two days after we celebrate so earnestly the resurrection of Jesus, my dear bride begins the stem cell transplant process in our battle with leukemia. There will be a few days of sundry tests, but soon she will undergo what may be the most intense chemotherapy there is. She is in remission as I type, and God willing will be when that chemo starts. Why bury your body in chemical poison when there is no known cancer therein? Just what exactly are we trying to kill this time? White blood cells. Before we sought to kill what was killing her. Now we are seeking to kill what seeks to make her well.

The trouble with Denise’s white blood cells is that they are not up to the task. They are not able to make her well enough. Trusting in her own cells will lead to certain death. What she needs are the white blood cells of another. It is, frankly and literally, her only hope. Though her white blood cells do not have the power to make her well, they are still strong enough to fight off the white blood cells of another. That is why they must be destroyed. For Denise to live she has to give up fighting on her own, and put her trust in another.

Analogies always break down, and there is danger ahead, but let us still move forward. She is not sinless like Jesus. She is not suffering the wrath of the Father like Jesus. But Denise’s sister Susan is giving of herself, her own lifeblood, that her sister might live. She is making sacrifice, as are her seven children and godly husband. They are giving of their lives that my wife might live again. And like Jesus, they do so joyfully, out of love for her.

As we move out of this season of focused remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus, let us remember why we have this focus- that we would remember all year long. Resurrection is not something we will have done, but is the very air we breath. When we proclaim each day, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” we are not merely speaking of His creational power. This is the day that the Lord, by walking out of that tomb, has remade. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. We live in the days of hope and promise. We live in the new creation.

Jesus has not promised that the difficult and painful process my dear wife is going through will give her forty more years to serve Him here. He has, however, promised that it will make her more like Him, that whatever the outcome, she will be beautified. He has promised that either way He will be holding her, dancing with her, laughing with her. Whatever the result, the resurrection wins. No, whatever the result, the Resurrected One wins His bride. He gave her to me. Each day I give her back. Each day He makes her more beautiful. Each day I give thanks. Every day is Resurrection Day. The Lord is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Hallelujah.