Pastor's Blog

The Lord is Dave's Shepherd Posted 8.26.2016

Six months to live?  Six month to live.


It is the diagnosis we all dread.  With every stray pain we wonder if that phrase is going to come from the lips of our doctor sometime soon.  We all have a streak of hypochondria in us, right?


Dave Britton heard those words this week.  I talked with both Dave and Jean this week.  The Brittons were core members of Peninsula for decades.  Dave taught faithfully.  Dave was an Elder.  Supportive.  Wise.  And a man deeply committed to prayer, if he was committed to anything at all. Jean loves the Lord and has a heart of gold.  She was our office administrator for years.  There is a sweetness about Jean that made her a wonderful fit in the office.  I love her dearly.


To talk with them this week was very difficult.  For me.  I don’t know if I could communicate with them how much I wanted (and needed) to just reach out to them and give them a hug.  But that wasn’t happening.  A couple of years ago they rented out their home here in PV and moved to the suburbs of Sacramento.  Their son got a job as youth pastor in local church up north and after Dave’s retirement they headed up to support Danny and spend time with the grandchildren.


Wise decision as it turns out now.


Dave sounded good on the phone.  But the pancreatic cancer is so advanced that doctors don’t give much hope.  There are options, but they aren’t encouraging.  As of earlier this week, they were considering hospice.  But on the phone, Dave sounded upbeat – almost encouraging.  His trust was still in the Lord, it had not been shaken.  There was a calmness in his voice that I could attribute only to “the peace that passes understanding.”


That doesn’t happen to every believer who hears those words from the lips of his doctor.  I am convinced that it is at that moment we really know the depth of our walk with God.  Do we really believe that to “absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”?  The reality of our faith and of our walk with God is demonstrated in that moment in life.  Dave demonstrated to me in our few moments on the phone that his heart was with God.  That his hope was in God.  That his future was resting on the Rock.


He is about to walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  And because of his faith in Jesus, he knows it will be but a shadow.  Therefore, wherever the hand of the Shepherd leads, he will follow.  That only happens at the end of life, if it is a reality in middle of life.


Are you walking with God today?  If your heart with God?  Is your hope only in God?  Is your future resting only on the Rock?  Only on the Rock.  At some point in life we will all only have six months to live.  We may not know it, but it will be true.  But if we find out it is true – how will we then live?


The Lord is my shepherd.  Is He?


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