To Be in God’s Presence Is Enough
By Steve Hanuman
I wanted to share something that I’ve been going through lately.
Following a routine health checkup, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. After a biopsy, the cancer was graded a level 9, with scores of 9 and 10 being the most dangerous and most likely to spread. I also have a very high PSA number of nearly 20. It all adds up to a sudden Stage 3 cancer diagnosis. At the time of writing this, I do not yet know if the cancer has spread to other parts of my body.
This is a very sudden and unexpected shock for me. To be honest, I’d been living under the false assumption that I had lots of time left because I was feeling quite healthy. As the saying goes, “I wasn’t ready for this!”
Facing this sudden diagnosis caused me to look back on my life.
I asked myself, If I were to pass away from this world soon, what has my life meant? Did it have any meaning at all for others?
It’s quite sobering to suddenly be in this situation. I realized that when I’m asking questions like this, it’s sadly natural to ask from the standpoint of how others view me. It’s just so ingrained into us to seek the approval of others. I know it is for me.
And when the obvious “successes” in the eyes of the world aren’t there, such as financial success, it’s kind of automatic for me to see myself as a “loser” and that my life has been a waste or a failure.
Let me tell you, this is maybe the worst feeling a person could have, to know that you may die soon and to feel that you haven’t done anything valuable or lasting with your life. To feel that your life makes no clear “statement” is just horrible!
I went to bed in a state of panic, devastated, deeply sorrowful, and feeling utterly alone.
The next morning, I woke up and immediately began to pray, and I realized this view of my life creates such a heavy and unnecessary burden. After deep prayer, I realized one thing: God truly loves His children as we are and God loves us more than we love ourselves. How God views us is completely different from how the world views us and even how we view ourselves.
From the loving view that God has, our lives are so beautiful and there’s so much to be grateful for, no matter what our position is in this world.
From God’s view, we are made of His love, and we are loved no matter what. There’s no such thing as “we didn’t matter” or “we didn’t make an impact in the world.” From God’s loving view, it’s impossible for our lives not to matter. God made us, how could we not matter? We are a miracle of God!
After prayer, I felt relieved to let go of that burden, and to just choose to be in God’s loving presence in the time I have left in this world. To be in His presence is enough. It’s more than enough.
The world and the Internet and social media will never tell you that. But I’m facing it right now with a very aggressive cancer in my body. And I came to realize this truth. All we need to do is to be in the presence of Jesus and everything is OK and our lives have true meaning to us and others around us forever.
In Christ’s love, there is no failure, and actually there is no success in the way we think of success. There’s only Christ ... and it has nothing to do with this world and its praises or rejections.
“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17).
“Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last” (C. T. Studd).
What a beautiful thing to feel and realize when facing such a situation. By me being truly in Christ’s presence, this will automatically create an impact in the world.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
I understand now that I need to be free of how the world views my life and how I view my life and what it has meant or not meant. In a way, that’s all egotism. I understand now that it’s all Jesus and all I can really hope for is that I’ve been a faithful servant to our Lord, that I’ve stayed close to Jesus through thick and thin. I can have peace knowing that I’ve truly tried my best to be a good servant, to love Jesus and be grateful to Him for all my blessings.
Of course I’ve fallen short. But I have done my best. That’s all I can truly say about my life, that I just hope to serve Jesus, and the rest is not really important at all.
Let’s all let go of that burden of our personal “impact” and just love and serve and be in Christ’s presence, and all will be well and our life will be blessed. No matter what accomplishment we’ve done or haven’t done, we are still blessed and at peace in Christ.
Such a beautiful feeling and a freeing feeling. The burden is lifted.
No matter what happens, I’ve found the true meaning of my life is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength … [and to] love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30–31). That’s what I choose to do with the time I have left.
Yes, I do have a sudden cancer diagnosis, but I also have peace, thanks to Christ’s amazing grace, mercy, and love.