Tony Snow was a great guy. We all need to read what he wrote in his 'final moments'.
I know in my 'past', when faced with what I thought was a never ending parade of 'crap' (although I know it always could have been worse), I would always ask, "Why me? Why not someone else? I'm tired of always dealing with 'crap. Why can't things just go right for a change?"
Then, I read that GOD never gives you any more than you can handle. Ok, so maybe someone else could share and handle some of this 'crap'. Hmmm? When giving it more thought I came to this conclusion...GOD knows who can handle 'what'. We do not always know it, but HE does. If HE has given me these trials and tribulations to deal with, then maybe I am saving someone else from having to do so. Maybe I should feel more privileged in being picked to bear the burdens, big or small. One also needs to realize that HE has given all of us the means to deal with problems; the brain to think things out and make choices...and HIS guidance and support. Nobody needs to 'go it alone'. I would bet that too many people fight against GOD in these situations instead of asking him for his guidance. And then, do they thank him for the outcome? Well, maybe if it turns out the way they want, but I am sure 'not' if it doesn't. Then he is to blame and not their choices or lack of initiative to even deal with the issue.
I hate to fly, but do it. I used to 'bargain' with GOD for a good and safe flight, one without any delays, bumps, bad weather, problems of any kind. Now, in bargaining one is making promises. How many times does one actually keep those promises, or do they go to the wayside once our prayer was answered? Now when I fly, I merely ask to 'just get me there safe and sound'! No sense in making promises I might not keep. Might I add here, at the end of my flight when the plane has safely landed and I am preparing to deboard, I am sending up a silent 'thank-you' to the one who got me there.
My oldest daughter's mom-in-law is dying of cancer...weeks to months she was given on Sat. as it has gone from her liver to colon and now to her brain with tumors that are coming out through the skin. She is my age, middle 50's and her statement the other day after suffering may seizures..."I am the glue that holds this family together." She has 3 sons, 1 adopted and her mother is...well..'crazy and mean'. Two of the boys are fighting with everyone and more concerned about a date they missed than her last weeks or months. My son-in-law is dealing the best he can and thank heavens my daughter appears to have acquired my fortitude. I am not sure if her mom-in-law has 'faith'.....but how sad to not even be allowed to accept your death and to die, but to feel that you are forced to stay here to 'keep everyone happy and to be their glue'.
The Final Words from Tony Snow
Robert Anthony Snow [June 1, 1955 – July 12, 2008]
Tony Snow was President Bush's former Press Secretary who died from cancer. Here is Tony's testimony about his experience.
Blessings arrive in unexpected packages, - in my case, cancer. Those of us with potentially fatal diseases - and there are millions in America today - find ourselves in the odd position of coping with our mortality while trying to fathom God's will. Although it would be the height of presumption to declare with confidence 'What It All Means,' Scripture provides powerful hints and consolations.The first is that we shouldn't spend too much time trying to answer the 'why' questions: Why me? Why must people suffer? Why can't someone else get sick? We can't answer such things, and the questions themselves often are designed more to express our anguish than to solicit an answer.I don't know why I have cancer, and I don't much care. It is what it is, a plain and indisputable fact. Yet even while staring into a mirror darkly, great and stunning truths began to take shape. Our maladies define a central feature of our existence: We are fallen. We are imperfect. Our bodies give out.But, despite this, - or because of it, - God offers the possibility of salvation and grace. We don't know how the narrative of our lives will end, but we get to choose how to use the interval between now and the moment we meet our Creator face-to-face.
Second, we need to get past the anxiety. The mere thought of dying can send adrenaline flooding through your system. A dizzy, unfocused panic seizes you. Your heart thumps; your head swims. You think of nothingness and swoon. You fear partings; you worry about the impact on family and friends. You fidget and get nowhere.To regain footing, remember that we were born not into death, but into life - and that the journey continues after we have finished our days on this earth. We accept this on faith, but that faith is nourished by a conviction that stirs even within many non-believing hearts - an intuition that the gift of life, once given, cannot be taken away.Those who have been stricken enjoy the special privilege of being able to fight with their might, main, and faith to live fully, richly, exuberantly - no matter how their days may be numbered.
Third, we can open our eyes and hearts. God relishes surprise. We want lives of simple, predictable ease, - smooth, even trails as far as the eye can see, - but God likes to go off- road. He provokes us with twists and turns. He places us in predicaments that seem to defy our endurance and comprehension - and yet don't. By His love and grace, we persevere. The challenges that make our hearts leap and stomachs churn invariably strengthen our faith and grant measures of wisdom and joy we would not experience otherwise.
'You Have Been Called'. Picture yourself in a hospital bed. The fog of anesthesia has begun to wear away. A doctor stands at your feet, a loved one holds your hand at the side. 'It's cancer,' the healer announces.The natural reaction is to turn to God and ask him to serve as a cosmic Santa.
'Dear God, make it all go away. Make everything simpler.'But another voice whispers: 'You have been called.' Your quandary has drawn you closer to God, closer to those you love, closer to the issues that matter, - and has dragged into insignificance the banal concerns that occupy our 'normal time.'There's another kind of response, although usually short-lived, an inexplicable shudder of excitement as if a clarifying moment of calamity has swept away everything trivial and tiny, and placed before us the challenge of important questions.
The moment you enter the 'Valley of the Shadow of Death', things change. You discover that Christianity is not something doughy, passive, pious, and soft. Faith may be the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But it also draws you into a world shorn of fearful caution. The life of belief teems with thrills, boldness, danger, shocks, reversals, triumphs, and epiphanies.
Think of Paul, traipsing through the known world and contemplating trips to what must have seemed the antipodes ( Spain ), shaking the dust from his sandals, worrying not about the morrow, but only about the moment.There's nothing wilder than a life of humble virtue, - for it is through selflessness and service that God wrings from our bodies and spirits the most we ever could give, the most we ever could offer, and the most we ever could do.Finally, we can let love change everything. When Jesus was faced with the prospect of crucifixion, he grieved not for himself, but for us. He cried for Jerusalem before entering the Holy City . From the Cross, he took on the cumulative burden of human sin and weakness, and begged for forgiveness on our behalf.We get repeated chances to learn that life is not about us, that we acquired purpose and satisfaction by sharing in God's love for others. Sickness gets us part way there. It reminds us of our limitations and dependence. But it also gives us a chance to serve the healthy. A minister friend of mine observes that people suffering grave afflictions often acquire the faith of two people, while loved ones accept the burden of two peoples' worries and fears.
'Learning How to Live'. Most of us have watched friends as they drifted toward God's arms, not with resignation, but with peace and hope. In so doing, they have taught us not how to die, but how to live. They have emulated Christ by transmitting the power and authority of life.
I sat by my best friend's bedside a few years ago as a wasting cancer took him away. He kept at his table a worn Bible and a 1928 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. A shattering grief disabled his family, many of his old friends, and at least one priest. Here was an humble and very good guy, someone who apologized when he winced with pain because he thought it made his guest uncomfortable. He retained his equanimity and good humor literally until his last conscious moment. 'I'm going to try to beat [this cancer],' he told me several months before he died. 'But if I don't, I'll see you on the other side.
His gift was to remind everyone around him that even though God doesn't promise us tomorrow, he does promise us eternity - filled with life and love we cannot comprehend, - and that one can, in the throes of sickness, point the rest of us toward timeless truths that will help us weather future storms.Through such trials, God bids us to choose: Do we believe, or do we not? Will we be bold enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in things that don't matter so that we might devote our remaining days to things that do?When our faith flags, God throws reminders in our way. Think of the prayer warriors in our midst. They change things, and those of us who have been on the receiving end of their petitions and intercessions know it.It is hard to describe, but there are times when suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you feel a surge of the Spirit. Somehow you just know: Others have chosen, when talking to the Author of all creation, to lift us up, - to speak to Him of us!This is love of a very special order. But so is the ability to sit back and appreciate the wonder of every created thing. The mere thought of death somehow makes every blessing vivid, every happiness more luminous and intense. We may not know how our contest with sickness will end, but we have felt the loving touch of God.'What is man that Thou are mindful of him?' We don't know much, but we do know this: No matter where we are, no matter what we do, no matter how bleak or frightening our prospects, each and every one of us who believes lies, each and every day, in the same safe and impregnable place: The hollow of God's hand! '---Tony Snow July, 2008http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Snowhttp://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,381250,00.htmlhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1PEyzk4ADUhttp://tonysnow.blogspot.com/