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Living on Death Row
Have you taken time to think about the really important things in your life? If not, what is stopping you?

I am not living as a prisoner on death row, but I am one of thousands of cancer patients awaiting a death sentence until the end of my cancer journey. Since December, when I learned my cancer had returned in the pelvis, my hopes and dreams were forever changed. Now I am on a daily regimen to control pain and nausea. I am fighting for my life.

Tamara Moore
Tamara Moore

My dilemma

Through this experience, I have found I am living out a real dilemma. On one hand, the doctors say my cancer will develop to the point that it will eventually take my life. On the other hand, God tells me that my life is in his hands (see John 10:27-29). Also, knowing God is my healer, as a Christian, I look to God for healing, whether it is in this present world or the world to come.

The important things

When a person goes through a life-threatening disease it often gives time and reason for analyzing the course of one's life. I've had a lot of time to think things over, and I have asked all the usual questions. Why God, did you allow this to happen to me? Why now, when I am still so young and have so many reasons to keep on living? To me though, the ultimate question is:

Have I been living out God's purpose for me throughout the course of my life? I think this latter question is just as relevant to you as it is to me.

As my cancer has weakened me, my perspective has changed. Things that were once important no longer seem relevant. I used to really enjoy antique shopping, but now it is no longer important because I can't take anything with me. Why would I go shopping and buy something when I will not have time to enjoy it? Whatever I buy will just be something else my husband Gary will have to deal with after I'm gone.

Have you taken time to think about the really important things in your life?

If not, what is stopping you?

Three questions

In analyzing my own personal life, three questions come to mind. The first deals with broken relationships. Is there anyone I need to apologize to? Matthew 5:23-24 tells us, when you come to me with a request or in worship, if you hold anything against your brother or he against you, set it straight first. Essentially, God is telling us that his relationship to us is dependent to some degree on how we relate to others. We must heal broken relationships on earth if we wish to see fully his power from heaven.

The second question is: Have our iniquities separated us from God? Isaiah 59:2 says, "Your iniquities have separated you from God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear." Sometimes there is sin in our lives that stands as a barrier to our communication with the Father.

Tamara Moore
Tamara and Gary Moore

In 1 John 3:22 it tells us that we receive from him anything we ask because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. We can never earn his love, but sin can get in the way of a more positive relationship with God. When a prayer seems unanswered it's time to ask if there is a sin that I need to clear from my life. This may not be the case, but it is a question we must ask.

The third question we must ask: Do we love the things in this world more than what God has prepared for us? This is a deep question we all must ask from time to time. Is our relationship with God truly the centre of our lives? Is Christ our foundation? Does someone or something else hold our hearts (see 1 John 2:15-17)? Again, these are important questions that are relevant to you, as well as to me.

Help from brothers and sisters

One of the great comforts I have had during my illness was the many mailbox blessings (the beautiful cards and written notes) I received from people all around the world. When I am weak it is hard to read the Bible and sometimes to even mouth a prayer. As I have gotten weaker and needed more assistance, my friends and family have helped me shoulder the load by praying and even reading the Bible to me. It is incredible that these wonderful Christians are going before the throne of grace on my behalf. They are helping me to carry my cross, just as Jesus needed help to carry his cross on the way to Calvary.

My greatest hope

As I gradually lose the battle to cancer, my spirits are lifted high by the promises of my Lord:

  1. The Lord is good and He is my refuge (see Nahum 1:7).
  2. He has a wonderful future prepared for me (see 1 Corinthians 2:9).
  3. If I believe, I will live forever (see John 3:16).
  4. And, if I endure to the end I will be saved (see Matthew 24:13).
  5. He will give me a perfect immortal body (see 1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
  6. My body will be transformed like His glorious body (see Philippians 3:21).
  7. I will be radiant and immortal (see 1 John 3:2-3).
  8. I will live in a beautiful city where God will wipe away every tear and there will be no more death (see Revelation 21:1-4)!

At this point in my life, I don't know how much time I have left. My body is weakening very quickly. I know death must be drawing near. No matter what trials I have to face, God expects me to be content. My greatest joy will be that He gives me the strength to endure to the end.

Tamara Moore was born in Lubbock, Texas. She and her husband Gary Moore were married in 1979. They have two children Rachel, 23 and Daniel, 21. She was a big part of her husband's ministry while he pastored a number of congregations across Canada, as well as, when he became National Director of the Worldwide Church of God Canada. Both Gary and Tamara traveled extensively across Canada visiting local congregations.

Tamara was a proficient musician and held an ARCT. She taught piano and music theory from her home. She also had a special passion to serve the wives of elders and pastors in her denomination. Before her death she earned a certificate in Women's Ministry from the School of Women's Ministry.

Originally published in the Northern Light Magazine, September/October 2004.




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