“I don’t think it’s meaningless, the story that says God sculpted us from clay. Of all the things He made, humankind was the first that He touched. The first breath we tasted was His exhale. I don’t think it’s meaningless that the first time humanity looked up at the eyes of God, His hands were dirty and He was close. Maybe we missed it—what God showed us when He first introduced Himself: that He will crawl into the dirt to be near us, and He will fill our lungs with air when we don’t know how to breathe.”
Jane Marczewski had battled cancer three times before the age of 30. The first two times it was breast cancer and after the second diagnosis, she was given a 2% survival rate. She beat it but was later told that it had metastasised to her spine, lungs and liver. Once again she was given a 2% survival rate but this time it wasn’t enough and she passed away on 19 February. In addition to cancer, her husband decided he couldn’t take any more and divorced her. Perhaps not surprisingly she had a breakdown.
It sounds tragic but Jane’s life was victorious. She came to prominence when she appeared on America’s Got Talent performing under her stage name Nightbirde. Singing an original song, It’s OK, she received the golden buzzer from Simon Cowell guaranteeing a place in the quarter-finals, but ill health prevented her from continuing in the competition. At her audition, she inspired everyone with her positivity. About her survival rate she said, “2% is better than 0%” and “You don’t have to wait until everything’s fine until you decide to be happy.” Nightbirde was happy, not because she was naïve and unaware of just how ill she was, but because she was sustained by a powerful faith. The quote above is hers, taken from her final blog.
Faith in God and his Son, Jesus, can sustain people through the worst of trials. In the Bible we’re told that “my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (1) This doesn’t just apply to material needs like having our daily bread, it also applies to emotional needs. Confronted with death every day Nightbirde found that Jesus was the help she needed. She needn’t be afraid of death because she knew she was going on to something infinitely better, a life of pure joy free from pain in the presence of her Saviour.
The Bible also tells us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (2) Nightbirde understood these words and lived them every day. She found peace in the worst of trials, a peace beyond understanding. The great Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, wrote the words “Rage, rage, against the dying of the light” in his poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, a call to fight against death. Nightbirde did not need to fight. She knew where she was going and she had peace.
Jesus can bring peace to the most troubled mind, in the most difficult circumstances. I never know who reads these blogs or if they have any impact. Does anyone benefit? Maybe this one can benefit you. Maybe like Nightbirde, everything is going wrong. If so Jesus is the Saviour you need. You need his love, strength and peace to help you. Rather than being destroyed by circumstances, you can live a victorious life in Jesus.
- Philippians 4:19
- Philippians 4:6,7