Greetings from a beautiful Fall day in Arkansas! It’s such a wonderful gift after the record-breaking heat and drought of the summer of 2012. I remain pretty much confined to the house due to a very low white blood count, but I do get out and walk my dog and enjoy that thoroughly. My main instruction is to stay out of crowds, so I’ve been in staying in until we see more white cells regenerating.
While this confinement has been very different, it has given me time for quiet contemplation that has been nothing but good. I find in particular that scripture comes to life as I have the luxury of meditating on it and ruminating over it’s meaning. One scripture in particular has been a focus for me for probably the last year, and I know that God has had it in my meditation for a reason. That scripture is II Corinthians 4:17-18 as follows:
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal”. (New King James Version)
I thought that I had studied those verses from every possible angle, but I just recently discovered some new territory in regard to the word “glory” as it is used in context. That discovery came from a book entitled “Pure Grace” written by Clark Whitten. There I found that the Greek word “doxa” (verse 17) is translated as “glory”, and one meaning of the word “doxa” is “the manifest character of a person”. Using the example of the word as it is used in John 1:14, Whitten says, “…a person’s glory defines the person, sums up the nature of the person, or shows forth the essence of a person.” I had always had the idea that “glory” as it is used in scripture always (or at least most of the time) pertained to the glory of God, but a word-study of II Corinthians 4:17-18 revealed that “glory” may be shown from within the nature of a human being. That glory is a reflection of God who dwells within each of us who have believed in Jesus. Most important, I saw that the “light affliction, which is but for a moment” is the very thing that allows the glory of God to be manifested in our own human nature! It helps to notice that in the verses preceeding II Corinthians 4:7-8,Paul refers to his own experience as a disciple of Jesus by using the words “hard-pressed, perplexed, persecuted, and stuck down”! I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t call these descriptors light affliction.
For me, that brought into sharp awareness the thought that every single “affliction” (however I define it) that is allowed to come into my life can, if I will allow it, have a destructive effect on my fallen flesh and allow more of a reflection of the one who lives within me. No matter how hard-pressed, perplexed, persecuted, or struck down I may be, if I am obedient in submitting to the work of God in me, the circumstance can allow more of God and less of me to be reflected to the darkness of the world. Afflictions chaff our flesh, but they are momentary and they are necessary if we are to shine as lights in the darkness. Chemotherapy chaffs my flesh for sure, but if I believe that “…He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus”, I can recieve it as God taking something intended for evil (cancer) and turning it to good. If that concept is hard to accept, you might want to review the story of Joseph (particularly Genesis 50:20) to get his take on it!
II Corinthians 4:17 and 18 also casued me to think about things like how can glory have a weight when it is not a tangible object? And how can we see things that are unseen? So there you have a glimpse of what happens to me when I’m placed in relative isolation for a few days! One thing I know is that as long as I have the Word of God upon which meditate, I am never bored!
I will have a PET scan on this coming Monday, (Nov. 5), and my fourth chemo treatment on November 7. The PET scan will show what effect the chemo is having on the lymphatic tumors which will indicate whether or not there is a need to change or add to the current mix of medications that I’m getting. So by next Wednesday we should have further information about how I am doing. I’ll be in touch again after that, but maybe not right away depending on how I’m feeling immediately post-chemo.
Meanwhile, I am carried on your prayers and thank you again for all you are doing for me!
Love and Blessings, Joy