“If You’re Not Dead, You’re Winning.” (1 Peter 1:3-4)

My cancer patient was sitting across from me, as we shared a cup of coffee in the hospital cafeteria. It was now one year since the experimental chemotherapy she had received had resulted in complete remission of her cancer. It was not without side effects and she still had a hand tremor. She observed me looking at her shaking hands and bluntly commented, “If you’re not dead, you’re winning.”

I nodded in agreement. Her course had been very challenging and twice in the past year, she was hospitalized and near death as the side effects of the treatment wrecked its toll upon her body. It was not the first time I heard a patient tell me this. In fact, for many cancer patients, this is a rallying cry and a shared bond, supporting one another and helping each afflicted patient to weather the brutal and painful treatments designed to eradicate cancer or at least mitigate its growth. It is a new lease on life. It is perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. But if we continue to live, what do we do with these additional days of life? For these fortunate cancer patients, the goal is not dying. Yet, we will all die, whether from cancer or another cause. If we are truly winning, is there a better, imperishable goal?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,

1 Peter 1:3-4 (ESV)

There is no way to truly win in this life, unless it is a new and different life, one that does not end with death, but how can this happen? There is hope and God provides the answer. All who confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will be born again into a new life, an imperishable one through the Holy Spirit sanctifying and regenerating our souls. 

Cancer patients need to cling and rejoice in each day their cancer does not rob them of their lives. But only, when we die to our own selves and accept a new life, reborn as children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, will we be able to truly win. This is salvation and eternal life with God.

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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