In the last few days, a number of sobering events have occurred that remind me that our lives are not our own.

First a friend who just returned from burying his brother who had succumbed to prostate cancer after a 5 year struggle, was himself diagnosed with the same cancer.   Fortunately, he and his doctors moved quickly and he was recently operated on.  The prognosis looks good. 2) A thirty-something young man’s heart stopped beating – for a stretch of time – and he’s been literally fighting for his life for the last 7 days.  Thankfully, it looks like he’s turned the corner though what caused his heart to stop abruptly like that remains a mystery and tests continue. 3) The mother of a colleague and friend, developed a stroke suddenly over the weekend.  Several days later she was gone. 4) The sister-in-law of another friend lost her long  hard-fought battle with cancer and breathed her last breath yesterday.

In all of these instances, we’re reminded of how fleeting and fragile this life is. However, if we are in Christ, we are not our own.  How reassuring.  No-thing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

The friend who underwent surgery for his prostate cancer shared this 1755 covenant prayer of John Wesley’s that he memorized and recited while going under and as he was in and out of consciousness. I repeat  it here as a fresh reminder of who’s we are, and as an example of the sort of hands-off-I’m-all-yours attitude I want to truly live out of.

Lord, I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what you will; rank me with whom you will. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you, or brought low for you. Let me be full or let me be empty. Let me have all things, or let me have nothing. I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.

And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours. So be it.

And this covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.