We have a man in our Church who is suffering from brain Cancer. After extensive surgeries and treatments, the decision was made this weekend that nothing more could be done for him medically and all treatments were stopped.
Our pastor went to visit this man and his family on Saturday. In the midst of their conversations, our pastor asked this gentleman if he had a favorite verse. He responded, “Romans 8:18,” and added that this was also the favorite verse of General Robert E. Lee. Be sure you read that scripture reference correctly. When Romans chapter 8 is mentioned, it is easy for us to immediately think of Romans 8:28 – “And we know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” But this man’s favorite verse was Romans 8:18
It is not as familiar a verse. So many verses in Romans chapter 8 get overshadowed by the popularity of verse 28. But when our pastor looked up the verse, the words came alive with such power and meaning for the present moment. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.”
Wow. When I heard the story and heard the scripture my heart swelled with emotion. Here is a man, who has had a favorite verse and considered it to be unique because it was also the favorite verse of a famous military mind. But the words of his favorite verse now hold so much more meaning for him as a man whose body has been ravaged by this seemingly unstoppable disease. God gave him that verse to hold on to for such a time as this.
While we continue to pray for a miracle in this man’s life, we are so inspired as we witness the courage with which he faces his situation. Is God able to show His glory by healing him completely? Absolutely. But let us never overlook the fact that God is just as glorified in the way that this man and his family face this challenge with the Peace of God that passes all understanding.
You may not be facing a life threatening illness today. But you may find yourself in the midst of one of life’s hard hitting storms. If you are not in one now, they are coming. My prayer if that we would find encouragement in the words of Romans 8:18. The degree of our suffering here in this world is not even worth comparing to the degree of glory that will be revealed when we see our Lord and Savior, Jesus, face to face.
Thank you, God, for your grace and mercy.
And thank you, Joe for reminding me of the truth found in Romans 8:18.