Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. These words of Paul to the Philippian Christians come near the end of his letter and the context is hugely important. Paul has just told them that he had found the secret to be content in all things. He had been brought low and abounded, faced plenty and experienced hunger, and through it all his confession was that he could “do all things through him who strengthens me.” Paul is letting the Philippians know that God was providing him with everything he needed. He was in no position to ask them for anything, he didn’t need anything because he had the Lord. Yet they shared with him of their gifts and for that he thanks them.
Some people ask us what they can do. We tell them that God is providing for us day by day. Some people just give us gifts and so share in our trouble. The gifts come in many forms – books, devotionals, money, gift cards, gas cards, meals and more. For this we are thankful. Not because we are in desperate need of them, but because by gifting them to us we feel you are sharing in our trouble.
Today marks one month since we decided with Markus’ doctors to stop treatment for cure and focus on quality of life. In the past few weeks his health has been declining rapidly. We are under the care of Canuck Place Hospice, and they are in touch with us every few days, doing what they can to ensure Markus’ symptoms are treated. The most noticeable signs are his waning energy levels and a regular cough. He can now easily sleep for 12-13 hours a night and usually by mid-afternoon he’ll be back on the couch resting until dinner. When he is up and about he still finds time to do some unique things. As you see from the photos below, he was allowed to use a mini excavator from a local landscaper (thanks Matt 😊) and play around with in the back yard for a couple days. He definitely has some talent as an operator and was able to efficiently mix our compost piles and then build a couple dirt jumps for his younger brother Aaron.
Also today, Markus and Micah are on their way to Alberta to visit Sara and Aidan. It was hard to see them go as we want to spend as much time together with them as we can, but we are thankful that they can do this road trip together, sharing and making memories.
This week two elders from our church came for a visit and read a few verses from Isaiah 41 with us. They conclude with the words, “Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” We have turned to these words often as they are such a comfort. As Markus’ health continues to decline and death comes closer we have a sense of peace that really does pass all understanding. Watching a son and a brother suffer as their life comes to a premature end is hard and even though there is opportunity for many questions, we know that this too is for our good and to the glory of God. We praise God for the salvation we have in Jesus. We praise God for the knowledge of the resurrection. We praise God for his nearness to us as we journey with Markus. We praise God for all your kindness as you share in our trouble. To Him be all glory!