This last week Seattle lost long time anchor woman Kathi Goertzen. After a long battle with brain tumors and many attempts to remove them, her compromised body had had enough. But it was pneumonia that finally took her.
Kathi Goertzen (Photo credit: Steve Lacey)
Those of us living in Seattle followed her story and her courage through her long battle. She lost her smile on the outside only – her courage never wavered. She was a role model for grace under pressure to all of us who watched with horror as the brain tumors increased with ferocious intensity.
When we learned that she was only 54 – we were stunned. Not that she had brain cancer and had struggled for more than 12 years with this – but that she was so young.
Greg is 52 and does weddings and funerals for a living. It is not unusual for him to perform a memorial service for young adults and those more than 10 years younger than himself. It seems to be a growing epidemic for men and women to struggle with things like cancer and heart issues to die while only in their early forties. On rare occasions it happens even earlier.
I am reminded of what the Bible says in James 4: 13-14
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
Our bodies are temporary and meant to break down and eventually die. The body is not who we are and we cannot be defined by it. Our real self is much deeper than just our body and will live on past this life. I am grateful for this, as I have had people I love already pass on into the next life. And it is especially comforting to read in Romans 6:23:
The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
A gift from God. No matter what happens to me while I’m here on earth. No matter what battles physically I have to fight. A place where there will be no more fighting. No more long battles with things like cancer and heart disease. No more sickness of any kind. No more loss. No more weeping.
I am taking many long moments of reflection in this last week to truly be thankful and live in the moment. Because we are not promised tomorrow – any of us, it is important to stay in the present and live in an eternal state of contentment and thankfulness.
My prayer for you and your family is this: That you may stop and reflect today on the many reasons you have to be thankful. For contentment and courage in all your present circumstances. And for the love of Jesus to be an ever-present compass as you embrace your life and others around you.