Monday, April 2, 2018

The Strife is O'er

We are nearing the one year mark of Ed's brain cancer diagnosis. Last Easter (when we watched love in action) we never dreamed Ed was seriously sick. Looking back, we recognize warning signals. Ed was having more frequent headaches and fatigue in early spring which we blamed on a busy schedule but now know was signals of his tumor.

With Ed's diagnosis came membership into a new community.

We would have never chosen to be part of the family of cancer fighters. Over the past year I've been in contact with many others who were forced on this journey. I read their latest Caring Bridge update, stalk them on Facebook, and communicate by email. I connect with mothers, wives, and daughters of cancer patients. I frequently talk on the phone with two women whose husbands have brain cancer. We share tears and laughter and enjoy the kinship of a shared path.

But the reality of building friendships in the cancer community is the frequent news of death. Every month I get the hard email or phone call with news that life on earth is over for someone whose journey I was following. Even when I've never met the person, connections have been made and I still hurt. Intense physical suffering may have ended, but that doesn't change the grief of family and friends.

But I've also watched the Resurrection power give hope to both the ill and those left behind.

Without hope we are miserable and defeated. Christ's resurrection gives not just the ability to cope, but a victory that can defeat the grave. It doesn't wipe away all tears. (That will come in the future.) It doesn't fill the empty chair. But I've talked to new widows and grieving mothers and watched Resurrection hope beat back despair and allow moments of joy.

I love many of the Resurrection hymns, but "The Strife is O'er" has been one of my long-time favorites. I like to listen/sing it every Easter and was glad the chorister chose to lead it in church on Sunday.

I share this for all of you who have faced sorrow this past year and need hope for the future.

The Strife is O'er
by Francis Pott
#256 in Hymns of the Church

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The strife is o'er, the battle done;
The victory of life is won;
The song of triumph has begun. Alleluia!

The pow'rs of death have done their worst,
But Christ their legions hath dispersed;
Let shout of holy joy outburst. Alleluia!

The three sad days are quickly sped;
He rises glorious from the dead;
All glory to our risen Head! Alleluia!

He closed the yawning gates of hell;
The bars from heav'n's high portals fell;
Let hymns of praise His triumphs tell! Alleluia!

Lord, by the stripes that wounded Thee,
From death's dread sting Thy servants free,
That we may live and sing to Thee. Alleluia!


  1. His grace has brought us safe thus far, His grace will lead us on...


    1. Diane
      You are one of those who have blessed me by your testimony of God's grace these last months.

  2. Two of my husband's friends - he met thru the cancer center have passed away from their disease.....and it leaves me thinking - the wives are now widows and I have been blessed to have my husband - who is now cancer free. Please know Ed is in my daily thoughts and prayers....

  3. What a precious hymn of hope!!! Thank you for sharing, Gina, and for your faithful example! Praying continually! ~Randy & Eunice

  4. I just read a quote that says "When you're happy you hear the music. When you're sad you understand the lyrics." This is one of those songs that reaches you anytime as both the music and the lyrics are beautiful!

    Praying for you on your continued journey in the cancer community. Death and grief are some of the tough parts of this community, but there are blessings here as well! Praying God touches your heart with a special blessing today.

  5. Gina, I think of your family soo often, and pray for you.

  6. I prayed for Ed, healing and family today. Blessings to all.



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