Meet 30-year old Jane Marczewski. After graduating from Liberty University, she began a career in music. Her aspirations, however, came to a crashing halt when she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. It has now spread to her spine, lungs, and liver.
This June she appeared on America's Got Talent under the name "Nightbirde." She sang an original song called "It's okay."
Her performance moved Simon Cowell to tears. "You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy," she said. With only a 2 percent chance to live, she added, "Two percent is not zero percent. Two percent is something, and I wish people knew how amazing it is."
I am so thankful that I ran across this video. It is tough to watch even though she did such a wonderful job. Sadly, her condition has only worsened since she appeared on AGT. Even though she had to leave the show, she's still composing songs, including one with the lyrics "Pretty beat up but I still got dreams."
I love that attitude. If you're like me, you've discovered that life can be really painful at times. When Becky died, I never had to dig so deep in my life. Eventually you learn to accept the suffering and endure. Suffering makes us immeasurably stronger if we accept it. As Prov. 16:33 reminds us, life may be like a roll of the dice, but God determines the numbers that come up. It's comforting to know that I'm not in charge and never will be. I have great reason to thank God today for my infirmities. They are
reminders that I am also well-supplied with sustaining grace.
It is possible to glorify God more in sickness than in health, more on the mundane days when nothing goes right than on the big day of thrilling events. Being true to God doesn't necessarily put us ahead. It may, in fact, drop us to the bottom of the ladder. Jonathan Edwards lost his pulpit, John the Baptist his head. You may or may not become a "success" in the eyes of the world, but that isn't important. God knows this better than we do. And he will be with us "all the days" even unto the end of the age.
One sure mark of revival is that it sets people to singing. God is not only our salvation; he's our song. Thank you, Nightbirde, for that powerful reminder. Saving grace is singing grace, and if we are not singing, at least in our hearts, then we had better perform a check-up on our spiritual condition.