Today's daily devotion

Beside Her

Love bears all things, endures all things.—1 CORINTHIANS 13:7 (NRSV)

My wife Debra’s cancer was a rare, fast-growing type. Her oncologist said that if left alone, it would probably kill her in a year. But it was also vulnerable to aggressive chemotherapy—if she could tolerate the treatment.

Three Mondays each month, we spent all day in a cubicle with a reclining chair for Debra, another chair by her side for me. First came a blood test and a visit from the doctor. Then nurses administered a series of three cancer-killing drugs.

Debra’s job was to endure it. She read and slept while I sat beside her. It was the after-effects that were hard to endure: nausea, hair loss, fatigue, irritability and then depression, building up as the ordeal went on for four months. What could I do to help?

I could bring her to the hospital, sit with her and bring her home. What advice could I offer? She was in good hands. But it was impossible to shield myself from her pain. Sitting with Debra meant taking it all in, not the drugs but the life-or-death struggle with an uncertain outcome. It carved out a permanent place in my psyche and hers.

Compassion means “suffering with” another. That, I realized, was my role. To share this part of the journey with her. Later there’d be surgery to remove the site of the cancer and reduce the chance of recurrence. For now, I’d sit and entrust her to God’s care.

Lord, help me endure all things for love.

Adapted from
Strength & Grace Magazine

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