Why you don't need to be defined by your past

Originally published Wednesday, 29 July 2015.

A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. John 10:10 (MSG)

It’s strange to think that two years ago, Xylon was ending a month of isolation in hospital after his stem cell transplant. 

I remember how throughout that time I felt so helpless. 

Every day I would leave him alone in the hospital. Lately, as Xylon and I went through the scare of possible recurrence (that turned out to be nothing) I’ve been thinking of those times. 

And I’ve been thinking of this verse I memorized in my childhood:

“Cancer comes only to steal and destroy but I have come to so that you can have life, real and eternal life, more and better life then you have ever dreamed of.”

Okay, the bible doesn’t say cancer, it says thief, but cancer sure feels a lot like a cat burglar who takes what it wants and leaves destruction.

What I like about this verse is that it doesn’t end with the thief. 

The words that come immediately after promise that Jesus has come so that we may life, and a better life than we ever dreamed of.

Every time I read these words hope shines through.

In this world, our troubles and sufferings might win but in God’s realm our story always ends with life.

Jesus wants you to know life as he imagined it. (tweet this)

I don’t know what that life looks like but I know that it is more joy, freedom, love and grace then I have ever experienced. 

I love that Jesus spoke about life right after death because so often in the midst of suffering and grief I forget that the “thief” doesn’t have the last word. 

The other night Xylon and I sat with a friend who recently went through a divorce. She related how for so long she felt that “divorced” defined her but she’s learning that isn’t who she is. 

Xylon told me later how he sometimes feel defined as “cancer survivor” but that’s now who he is. 

I don’t think that is how God sees our friend or Xylon as "divorced" or "cancer survivor" either. 
I think God calls them:






Alive to live for God

I don't know what your "cancer" is, or what the thief has stolen from you, or what label you have begun to think defines you, but I do know that this is not how the story ends. 

What you have lost is not the final word on your life, God has more for you. (tweet this)

I know because I’m realising that no matter how our stories begin, when Jesus is involved they always end with life, life and more life. 

Ponder: What has happened in your life that has been a thief and stolen something from you? Do you have hope that God can restore what has been stolen with life, life and more life?

Prayer: Lord, I believe that you can give me hope where the thief has stolen from me. I thank you for life, life and more life that will spring out of places that I thought were dead. Amen

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- This was orginally published on my site in January 2014. To read more devotionals like this go to ilovedevotionals.com