“Everything is Okay. 36 Cells to Go.”


One of the gifts of my time with cancer is that life has become more precious. As I relish these days of good health and being cancer-free, I am still quite aware that my health could change at any time. The truth is, no one knows when one’s health may change. We cannot know how long any of us will be on this earth. It’s just that those of us who have weathered serious health issues know from experience how true this is.

Yesterday as I was playing Sudoku on my cell phone, I touched the little question mark button to see how I was doing. I received the words, “Everything is okay. 36 cells to go.” I thought to myself, “Isn’t that so reassuring?” Wouldn’t this be a great button to have for life? Whenever we are feeling stressed or anxious, we could touch the button and receive these words of reassurance: “Everything is okay.”

We DO have such a help in life! God has shown us, especially through Jesus, that no matter what happens in this earthly life, “everything is okay.” God always works for good. God always takes our messes and creates beauty from them. All of our earthly deaths and losses are resurrected in new and glorious ways. I’ve seen God do this many times in my life, resurrecting the deaths and healing the losses along the way. As Julian of Norwich says, “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”

Everything is okay.

Which brings us to this second sentence: “36 cells to go.” In Sudoku, the progress button also shows us how many cells we have to complete. But there is no progress button for life; no button that shows us how far we have to go. We have no way of knowing the remaining number of our days.

What struck me yesterday is this… while playing Sudoku, once I’ve been reassured that everything is okay, I don’t care how many cells I have left! I rarely pay attention to the number I’m given. Because I am enjoying the game, embracing its challenges, learning along the way, and working toward full completion, I find it truly doesn’t matter how much longer I have to go.

We can face each day of our earthly lives with God’s loving reassurance that everything IS okay. And having that reassurance, we can enjoy each moment of our progress through all of life- with its joys, challenges and opportunities. We can joyfully work toward our full completion, unconcerned about the number of our days.


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