When Death Comes Knocking at Your Door

GUEST POST  by Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

Why is God letting this happen to ME?

The last time I visited my doctor a couple of weeks ago, he expressed surprise that I was still alive. That’s a funny feeling, because I never expected to be dying in middle age. In 2002 my gallbladder was removed, and something went wrong, leading to damage to the pancreas and chronic pancreatitis. I was told that it was only a matter of time until I developed pancreatic cancer.

That time seems to have come. I don’t have insurance or the money required for the tests that would confirm it (not to mention that no one is willing to do the invasive test required, because I’m such a poor operative risk), but I’m symptomatic and the deterioration of my condition over the past few months has become much more rapid. Things are not looking good; I can no longer leave the property, as riding in a car hurts too much. I can only walk short distances, am kept awake by severe and constant upper-abdominal pain, and have to force myself to eat. Not to mention nausea and other stuff.

My wife tells me I have a right to question God’s goodness, and even that perhaps I should. I don’t see why. Yes, there are a lot of Scriptural ‘promises’ of health and wealth and happiness, and preachers talk about good times being the birthright of God’s children.

Depends on how you define good times, I guess.

My life IS good. Though no one would say this illness and its symptoms are fun, it gives me the opportunity to witness to people who might one day be in my shoes, or have to take on the role of a caregiving spouse, that there’s still joy and purpose to be found in a life that’s become physically difficult.

It’s really my choice.

And I choose to try to make a difference because I believe that God did not send this; nor did He ‘allow’ it to happen. All manner of bad things happen in the world, some to far better Christians than I…but it isn’t by His hand.

He’s not using adversity to bring us closer to Him; that’s a technique used in interrogation, to be rough on a person and isolate him so that he becomes dependent on his captors. I don’t think God is like that.

He created a world – and us – that operates on the basis of free will. We have to choose to be with Him; that’s the only way our presence with Him will have meaning, and the only way our lives have meaning. If He were constantly shifting and arranging, bestowing favour here and not there, all He’d get would be people simply looking for ways to appease Him, and being in competition with one another..who’s the best toady? Who can put on the most humility, and thus gain the most favour? Creating a world like that would not make it dominated by Love; it would be ruled by fear and manipulation.

So the bad things happen,. and in their midst, we have to make the fatal choice…do we accept it as the only meaningful way to be able to have a relationship with God, by choosing to believe Him even in the midst of overwhelming pain and dread…or do way say, “This is UNFAIR!” and look for ways to impress Him with our offering, with bigger tithes, with hours of prayer, by going to church every day we can?

Clearly, the second way doesn’t make much logical sense, because we’re going to die anyway. One day, even if we’ve felt safe behind a hedge of protection, the monsters will break in, and kill us. Does this mean that God withdraws his favour at the end of a long life?

I don’t think it does. I believe that His favour is all around us, in the offer to stand with us, and to be the support and comfort that can carry our flagging spirits, and give us the will to keep pushing failing bodies forward.

He’s the still, small voice whispering, “Keep going. I hate this as much as you do, but if you take another step, you’ll have another opportunity to make OUR Kingdom better.” OUR Kingdom. You see, there it is. God made Heaven for the ‘us’ that includes Us…and Him. Together.

He showed us the way, up the Via Dolorosa to Calvary, and beyond, to the empty tomb. The transcendence that was His would become ours, as
long as we don’t force that cup away from us.

Jesus didn’t want what lay in His near future, and I don’t want the thing that’s on the horizon, that’s already entered the house.

But into His Hands I commend myself, body and soul. Because I believe in Him, and in two words, I have the proof that He believes in me, and is hurting right alongside me. No parent wants their child to suffer. And so…

Jesus wept.
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Andrew’s Service-Dog-In-Chief, Ladron

Andrew Budek-Schmeisser Bio –
Andrew Budek-Schmeisser lives on a mesa in New Mexico with his wife Barbara and a whole lot of rescued dogs. Though now sidelined by serious illness, he has worked in construction, security contracting, video script writing, and was a college professor for several years.

He is the author of a Christian contemporary romance, Blessed Are the Pure of Heart, published by Tate Publishing and available from all the best online retailers as well as Hastings outlets in the Albuquerque area.
book blessed are the pure Link to Andrew’s Budek-Schmeisser’s book on Amazon: Blessed are the Pure of Heart.

Andrew’s blog: Blessed are the Pure of Heart. (blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com)

Note: I have not read Andrew’s book yet but plan to soon. I will write a review and post it on my Book Feature.
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Andrew Budek-Schmeisser and I became acquainted through an online community of writers at Books & Such Literary Management, a Christian agency which provides a daily blog forum for book authors. Every day when I check the Books & Such blog, I find myself wondering if Andrew will be with us. It is a relief when I see his familiar face and read his intriguing comments.

What first impressed me about Andrew was his depth of knowledge and how well read and informed he is. Then I started reading his blog, and I learned more about him, his health situation, and his canine rescues. Andrew is living on pure determination, power of the will, and dependence on God’s grace. One thing I have learned about Andrew, he is affirming of others. Maybe because he has suffered through hard things in his life, he is more open. He affirms many of us who are rather new at blogging. I guess through his own blogging and writing ventures, he realizes it can be a lonely and isolating business. Thank you, Andrew, for being my guest today.
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Guest for next Monday: Shirlee Abbot: Shirlee is a blogger who features quotes by famous preachers like Charles Spurgeon and applies them to spiritual living. She is a wise lady who has depth in her spiritual insights. Her theme is construction, using signposts as markers to pay attention to. I know you will enjoy reading what she has prepared for us. Can’t wait!

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N. L. Brumbaugh likes to write contemplative thoughts about authentic spiritual living. A lot of heart goes into every one of her posts. She is a mix of reading specialist, country woman, writer, church leader, and storyteller. Norma loves creative artistry and celebrating life.

I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

4 thoughts on “When Death Comes Knocking at Your Door

  1. Once again, Andrew, your wisdom shines through the darkness. We identify God, not by his fairness or his logic, but by his grace. May God wrap you and Barbara, along with your beloved pups, in a security blanket of his grace.

  2. Andrew, it is my pleasure. What you say in this blog is worth thinking about, for all of us. The problem of pain and God’s part in it is a universally discussed topic. Seeing it from your perspective is insightful and encouraging. Blessings, my friend.

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