There is a difference in giving up your life and giving your life.
Jesus made it clear He was not giving up His Life and just leaving us a rich inheritance. He was laying down one life only to take it up again in a different way.
He said, “The reason my Father loves Me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.”
We often think of those who died pursuing the desire to give someone else a chance to live. However, we all too often overlook those who gave up the life they had planned to take up another life, whereby they give someone else the chance to live.
All around the world right now, there are care givers, who have sacrificed the life they could have had to be there for someone else.
There are parents caring for children who got older, but never reached a place where they could independently care for themselves.
There are adult children, who have given up their retirement dreams of seeing the world to stay home and care for aging parents.
There are faithful spouses, who took seriously their vows to honor each other in sickness and health. They gave up their own dreams and put love into action.
There are those who gave up everything they hoped to have in this world to minister to others and bring healing and comfort to them. They laid down their life so Jesus could work through them to bring eternal life to others.
Tonight I am thinking about a woman named Mary. I have never met her and yet she has greatly influenced my life.
Mary married Bill Sweeney, had children and looked forward to a very different life from the one she was to choose.
As a young man, Bill was diagnosed with ALS. The doctors predicted his life expectancy to be 3-5 years tops. Instead God gave him 24 years with ALS.
As Bill became more and more debilitated, his dependence on The Mercy of God and the love of his ever faithful wife increased.
And from that broken vessel, God poured His Love to the world. Even as Bill had to work very slowly through eye blinks to a computer to communicate, he wrote a blog appropriately called Unshakable Hope.
God directed me to Bill’s writings at a time in my life when I desperately needed hope. His words were a healing balm to my soul.
However, the person responsible for the man with the message was Mary. It was she who kept the hope alive in Bill. It was she who faithfully toiled in the background in ways we never knew.
While I celebrated Bill’s being freed from his earthly body this past year, I felt extremely sad to know the blog postings from Unshakable Hope would stop.
Today I was delighted to find a new post from Unshakable Hope written by Mary. I will include the link to the blog at the end of this post.
Once again The Words of Hope filled me up and now overflow to you. God showed His Faithfulness and Mercy all throughout the unexpected journey of Bill and Mary.
And today, even in the midst of grief, God continued to bring His Words through Mary. May we all receive The Hope God is offering and may it be, as it was for Bill and Mary — sure, firm and unshakable!
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of The Glory of God.
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Now hope does not disappoint, because The Love of God has been poured out in our hearts by The Holy Spirit Who was given to us.
Here is the link to Mary’s Blog posting.
Here is the link to a song I dedicate to Mary and all those who have laid down their lives in order that others may live.