“Your body is temporary.”
Yesterday, I’m sitting in and listening to a body image class alongside some amazing girls who are in the high school homechurch I help lead. And this truth is brought back to mind again–
“Your body is temporary.”
Wow, it has been a long time since I have dwelled on that truth, remembered that truth. And why haven’t I?! What a freeing and exciting and overwhelmingly beautiful thought to meditate on!
2 corinthians 5
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
An eternal house, laid brick by brick by Him, standing firm and secure, waiting for me for one day arrive and move in permanently. I cannot imagine its structure! Oh how I long for the keys! And yet, I already do: oh Holy Spirit-keys. You guarantee my real estate while I am currently thriving in this temporary-tent home.
2 corinthians 5
2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
I look outside at the surface of my tent, my body and I’m sometimes amazed. Although I’m satisfied with my outward appearance, its my inward, my flesh that makes me groan and rage at times for that future body now. A body without cells revolting every 5 years sounds simply like heaven; it is my heaven.
This is the body I look forward to:
Bones, all mine, no longer shifting and growing and changing.
Bones of all the same composition of calcium: no more lone bone of metal, long and lean in my femur to replace a cancer-invested one.
Scars from biopsies, port surgeries, surgeries, surgeries in general to be not seen on my future body, scars that are strange and awkward outlining and tracings of my hips, collar, back.
A mind that is consistently stable, at peace instead of battling this strange cancer.
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
His Words are trustworthy and true! Oh yes, and they feed me spoonfuls of hope daily, daily.
I can hear His Voice now calling.
2 corinthians 5
6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
Although I long for my future-home, to see that body and be and live in its perfect state, this lowly body of mine is bringing great glory in its imperfections, its flaws. I will continue to praise Him for it!
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Before Time began, the Creator crafted and admired my body and said to His work: yes, this is good. He knew the genes and chromosomes together knitted were to one day form cancer once, twice, three times full well. He is the Ultimate Biologist, Ultimate Doctor of bodies and souls, fully aware of my diagnosises before my parents even held me at my birth. I hold to confidently that He did not create cancer and yet was fully aware of the way the world and my body would fight in conflict with one another once I was conceived on earth because of the fallen state we are in. And even though He saw this “flaw,” He sees me as fearfully and wonderfully made because I am so.
FEARFULLY: stupendous, admirable, wonderful
WONDERFULLY: distinguished, admirable
This body He has given is to be admired because of the glory He brings through its brokenness. Its cancer-cells revolting bring me opportunties to share His Love with others that I would have never been able to without its admittance to the hospital realm. Cancer-cells rebelling while they bring me to my knees in closer communion to the Ultimate Creator, helping me to see Him in new and deeper ways that a cancer-free body would have never provided for me.
Oh yes, this cancer-tent-body is to be admired because of the glory and love it shows and demonstrates and affords me.
It is distinguished, set-apart uniquely in its nature as it gives me cancer once, twice, three times, all distinct in nature. Oh yes, I am unique in this way, outside of the statistical norm of Ewing’s. Statistical evidence clear that He is the Ultimate Holder of my body and keeping me here, living, breathing, functioning with joy, my days written in His Book of Life and held onto in faith and love. Oh yes, I will praise Him because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; His works are wonderful, I know that full well in confidence and experience as I look down at my hips, my back, my femur and marvel at the cancer-glory there is there. I am confident in Him as He is confident in this tent that loves to collapse on me time and time again to bring utmost praise to Himself.
I imagine that in heaven there will be a museum of our earthly bodies, bodies all on display to show and explain the ultimate glory. I long to walk up and down its halls and admire the bodies and reflect on them and their stories, their histories. I long to see mine behind the glass and remind myself of the scars and touch of my heavenly-body where they are not and be filled with joy. I know there He will provide the museum with the fullest of full explanations of each creature, every disease, every broken body and the way He uniquely took them in His hands, flipped them and rotated and turned them into His beautiful grace-glory. There will be stories upon stories of bodily history-grace, the ultimate picture of everything that I saw Him use my cancer here on earth as well as the revealing of the behind-the-scenes I never did see (and how I know and am confident of the second being volumes larger than I can even think of!)
Oh yes, I long for that museum entry now, that history lesson of myself looking back on earth, back on this body.
And yet, in the meantime—
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christand to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.