May 8, 2021: Circular Letter #5 - to Family and Friends
The picture above this post I took nearly exactly two years ago from our balcony in Rafz, in the evening of the 9th of May 2019. Behind the Uetliberg, which is the mountain with the radio tower and located right next to Zurich and Zurich-lake, there was a wonderful view of the alps. Quite central in the picture you can see the Titlis with the tower of the mountain cable car station. This morning we also enjoy a wonderful view of the alps from our dining table.
This reminds of the verses from Hebrews 12,1-2, which I have been thinking about these last days. The expression “looking unto Jesus” (here in translation of the New KJV) is originally much stronger in its expression. Verbally it means that we look away from everything else and fix our eyes firmly and only on HIM, “the author and finisher of our faith”! Isn’t that the viewpoint that we should take up every day again and again? Because there are so many things that distract us easily from looking at this target, and make us nervous, make us fearful, and confuse us.
No one knows when we will cross the finishing line of our life, which the bible often compares with a race, like in this passage. This race is not a sprint of 100-m, no, it is rather an ultra-marathon. How can we keep going, how can we endure, especially when our own strength and our body seems to crumble? By looking steadily on HIM, who already reached the goal. HE went through hostility, denial, offenses, wrong accusations and finally through all what HE did for us on the cross of Calvary. But HE finished and completed His life to the everlasting honor of the eternal God and to our eternal salvation.
Another passage in Hebrews, a few chapters earlier, has such a strong consolation and power in it:
“Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
The BIBLE: Hebrews 6,17-20
I heard a story which is a nice illustration. A believer who studied in Oxford, England, was privileged to become part of Oxfords famous rowing team which would compete against arch-rival Cambridge in the annual boat race. He said that he for a long time he had difficulties in a race because he could never see when they would cross the finishing line. However, what he learned over time, was that while the 8 strong men rowing with all their power could never see the finishing line coming, there was one guy with them in the boat, who was always aware and seeing when the finishing line was there. All he needed to do was to fix his eyes on the cox who pushed them, motivated them, kept the time and pace, while seeing the competition and the finishing line at the same time.
And while we fix our eyes on Jesus our Savior who steers our life we know that He is the “anchor of the soul”, sure and steadfast, which connects us already today with heaven, and nothing can cut this rope of hope. Therefore, let us be encourage to “run with endurance the race that is set before us”, while keeping our gaze firmly on Him.
This week was a break from therapy, and I could feel my body to recover, my back getting more relaxed every day, and my appetite continuing to be good and the weight stabilizing. I guess that is the kind of relaxing that I am given to be prepared for the next cycle of chemotherapy that starts coming Tuesday. Tuesday and Friday in the next 2 weeks I will go to the outpatient treatment in the hospital. I am thankful not only for my dear wife Dietlind but also for a number of things:
- For the time of recovery in the last couple of days.
- For some visits and phone calls and many encouraging messages we got every day including news that people are praying for us. We continue to be thankful for all that!
- That I could participate in our bible study at church on Thursday evening, and if possible I will also go to church service and sermon tomorrow.
- For the continuously good medical care and medications that we have.
- That I could setup my blog and also do some other project work.
Our prayer requests are:
- That I continue to react well to the chemotherapy in the second cycle that starts next Tuesday for two weeks. And that my blood values turn out to be ok.
- That I can continue to support some of the ongoing projects; that the Lord gives me the necessary strength, but that I also a respect the times where my body needs to rest.
- And continuously that I am protected from any infections that could be dangerous for me.
I want to thank you all for your support, your prayers, your messages and encouragement. Don’t hesitate to call if you want to talk; or use the comments section or the modern social messaging tools such as Threema or Signal. We always appreciate your love and sympathy expressed in all these kind of conversations.
Keep your eyes on HIM! Then we have the same viewpoint. Regards, Andreas