The Fruit of the Spirit – part of walking in His power is the ability to bear up under the heavy weight of this life. Some translations render that “patience” but I prefer the word long-suffering.
But what if the heavy weight of this life includes a pain leading to certain death – like terminal, inoperable cancer?
There’s a story going viral right now of Brittany Maynard and her terrible diagnosis of terminal brain cancer shortly after getting married. Her response (in a nutshell) was to move from California to Oregon where she could legally be prescribed a pill that will end her life, and she’s decided to do so on November 1.
I learned of her story just yesterday, and then today I read a blog in the style of an open letter from another young lady who is also dying of cancer, but has a much different “take” on what her response should be.
No doubt there’s plenty of noise out there already on this subject. As someone who endeavors to live my life as a follower of Christ, I immediately thought of Galatians 5:22. The Fruit of the Spirit is..long-suffering. I don’t know Brittany’s spiritual status. But I do believe that we are sometimes called upon to suffer well – even to the point of death. And in doing so, others may actually see a visible testimony of what it looks like to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. They may in turn decide to become followers of Christ, even through our example of long-suffering, even through death. I do not think we are intended to select our time and manner of death. Even Jesus submitted Himself to the Father’s will in this regard.