The last few weeks have been good in some ways, but emotionally tiring in others. My aunt has been diagnosed with breast cancer and has had a mastectomy, and is currently waiting for a date to have a number of lymph nodes removed. A friend’s father, aged 53 and apparently healthy, died suddenly of a heart attack. Another friend, aged 25, has been diagnosed with cervical cancer and is currently undergoing treatment. Another friend, also 25, died suddenly last week; the cause of death currently unknown, but is probably related to an illness she picked up a few days before she passed away. Why am I telling you all this? It’s not to depress you, but to share a couple of thoughts about relationships that all these and many other events have made me come back to a number of times lately.
1. How are your relationships with people around you? Be right with other people, be at peace with them and appreciate them. Live with them in all that they’re going through. Tell someone precious to you that you love them. The Bible says, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:14-18; RSV).
2. How is your relationship with God? “What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies; who is to condemn? Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For thy sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:31-39; RSV). If this doesn’t mean anything to you, or you feel it once did, but you’ve grown tired and weary, I would encourage you to get a Bible and read it daily, get involved in a church, go to an alpha course (see http://uk.alpha.org/), DO SOMETHING – it’s too important to put off for another day.