Buried with Him … that … even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4
No one enters into the experience of entire sanctification without going through a "white funeral" – the burial of the old life. If there has never been this crisis of death, sanctification is nothing more than a vision. There must be a "white funeral," – a death that has only one resurrection – a resurrection into the life of Jesus Christ. Nothing can upset such a life, it is one with God for one purpose, to be a witness to Him. … Do you agree with God that you stop being the striving, earnest kind of Christian you have been? We skirt the cemetery and all the time refuse to go to death. It is not striving to go to death, it is dying – "baptized into His death."
Something happened recently that enabled me not only to understand but also to live this white funeral.
Months ago, I started having rib pain in various areas along with very specific hotspots of pain in other places like superficial tissue in the chest area as well as around my left implant. Visits to the oncologist as well as x-rays and ultrasounds showed nothing there.
Being a medical research librarian’s daughter, my way of dealing with such a thing is to do research. This I did on my trusty Mac.
In my estimation, it seemed like a silicone implant rupture was the cause. The pain coupled with the fact that my left breast(implant) looked different (flatter and smaller) gave me reason to believe that.
An MRI did not really give clearcut answers. I made a visit to a plastic surgeon with my theories. He did not weigh in on the possibility of rupture, however, he agreed that symmetry was not there. His theory was that the implant had shifted downward and had spread out so that it was much flatter.
Next,I made a visit to my oncologist to keep him in the loop. Apprising him that the pain was not diminishing but spreading brought a grave look to his face that only cancer patients get to know. It is THE LOOK, the one they get when the doctor feels cancer is there or is advancing. Dr. T ordered bone scans, as well as chest, pelvis, and abdomen CT scans.
In the waiting time between this visit and getting the results, I experienced a “white funeral”. Those of you who know me recognize that I am somewhat of a pessimist by nature. This was not the first time that I thought I was dying–this was the time I “died”.
There has been so much preparation since my diagnosis with cancer that I was ready for this death. This time there were no histrionics, no tears, no talking at great lengths about “what ifs”. There was a simple acceptance and a deep trust in God. My prayers became simply “Your will be done.”
Well, the tests came back, and not only was there no evidence that the cancer was advancing, it had actually receded somewhat.
I went ahead with re-reconstruction. Having the silicone implants out seemed like a great idea–they were a bad choice and an area of concern for me.
The implant was not ruptured. The plastic surgeon was right. The implant had slipped downward and sideward.
I have saline implants now. The mystery pain remains a mystery. It is still there.
The upshot of this is that after having “died”, all of my life is a gift from God. This is immensely freeing. I can live in whatever way God directs because I already died. My life can be for Him now. And my clear goal is to bring everyone possible to heaven with me.
In truth, I know me. No Joshua or Caleb here. All perseverance in our relationship comes from God’s side. Yet, I think recognizing this gives me an advantage. I know how dependent I am on God, and I come with empty hands for him to fill and use.
This is a wonderful place to be– empty and listening. Ready to be filled and used. Praise God!