Sunday, October 25, 2009

i will lift my eyes

Todd just gave me the most precious gift. It is the little ring of scriptures that Kathy always kept with her. A friend gave it to her when Brooke went to the hospital the first time, and it was a comfort on many lonely, anguished days of waiting. It was on the counter, at Todd’s house, and I ask him where he found it. It had been in the car. He wanted to know if I wanted it. Did I want it?! It makes me happy; it makes me a little sad, but yes I wanted it…it’s a treasure!

One of the first verses I read was Psalm 121…such beautiful words of promise:

“I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber; The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.”

This passage reminds me of the song that Tori sang at the celebration of Kathy’s life. It’s a song by Bebo Norman. Kathy sang it at church.

God, my God, I cry out
Your beloved needs You now
God, be near calm my fear and take my doubt
Your kindness is what pulls me up
Your love is all that draws me in

God, my God, let mercy sing
her melody over me
and God, right here all I bring
is all of me
Your kindness is what pulls me up
Your love is all that draws me in

'Cause You are and You were and You will be forever
the Lover I need to save me
'Cause You fashioned the earth and You hold it together, God
so hold me now

I will lift my eyes to the Maker
of the mountains I can't climb
I will lift my eyes to the Calmer
of the oceans raging wild
I will lift my eyes to the Healer
of the hurt I hold inside
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You.”

This little ring of scriptures reminds me of God’s love for my sister and it reminds me of his love for me. He has the storm under control. I can trust him.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

hold my heart

It is amazing (and unbelievable), to me, that the God who holds the universe in his hand could take the time to hear my voice…my concerns…my needs…. I wonder why he would do that. I have been listening to this song, “Hold My Heart,” by Tenth Avenue North:

“I've been so afraid, afraid to close my eyes
So much can slip away before I say goodbye.
But if there's no other way, I'm done asking why.
Because I'm on my knees, begging You to turn to me
I'm on my knees, Father will you run to me?
One tear in the dropping rain,
One voice in the sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breakin' heart?
One light, that's all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You're everything You say You are
Won't You come close and hold my heart.
So many questions without answers, Your promises remain
I can't sleep but I'll take my chances to hear You call my name
To hear You call my name
Hold my heart, could you hold my heart?
Hold my heart.”

It becomes evident… when something precious slips away so quickly that you don’t have the opportunity to say goodbye… that there is nothing of this life that you can hold on to forever. Only God, and his faithfulness remains.

The words of Lamentations 3:22-26 (Amplified Bible) are comforting to me today…as they have never been before:

“It is because of the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him. The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him [inquire of and for Him and require Him by right of necessity and on the authority of God's word]. It is good that one should hope in and wait quietly for the salvation (the safety and ease) of the Lord.”

I’m thanking Him today, for being faithful to me always…He’s holding my heart…

Saturday, October 17, 2009


When Kathy was in critical condition, and we were waiting at the hospitals, I truly believed that, with the power of prayer and medicine, she would open her eyes and be with us again. There were many people who fervently believed this.

I have heard that there were incredible prayer services at our church, and that the people who were there, believed, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my sister would be healed. They felt God’s spirit with them. We felt God’s spirit with us, too.
But it didn’t turn out exactly as we thought… prayed…hoped it would.

This week, I’ve been listening to a song that Debbi gave me years before this sadness befell us. It goes like this:

“When I saw what lay before me,
I cried, Lord, how can it be?
I thought he would just remove it,
But he gently led me through.
Without fire, there’s no refining.
Without testing, no belief.
Without flood, there’s no rescue.
Without suffering, no relief.

I look back over the past months, and I truly can say that the only way I have made it through is because of the grace of God. He has gently led me through it. I love these scriptures:

“Trust in me always, I am the eternal Rock, you Shepherd, the Guardian of your soul. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. So, don’t worry. I never tire or sleep. I stand beside you. The angel of the Lord encamps around you. I hide you in the shelter of my presence. I will go ahead of you, directing your steps and delighting in every detail of your life. If you stumble, you will not fall, for I hold you by the hand. I will guide you along the best pathway for your life..”

(Isa. 26:4; I Peter 2:25; Isa. 43:2; Matt. 6:34; Ps. 121:4-5; Ps. 34:7; Ps. 31:20; Deut. 31:6; Ps. 37:23-24; Ps. 32:8)

He is taking us through.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

a clear view

I live on one end of a road, my sister lies in a cemetery on the other end. I don’t like to drive home that way. It always seems that my heart is being pulled out of my body by the arteries and veins when I pass the cemetery. I suppose in a way that is exactly what is happening. When hearts have been intertwined for so long on earth, it would be natural to feel the pain of the separation when one departs for another place.

This pain, though, has made me think of God and eternity more. And though I can lose sight of what is important, this tremendous hurt makes me stop and remember again and again.

I don’t know who said these words, I don’t even remember where I got them, but I am finding them to be true in my life:

“A season of suffering is a small price to pay for a clear view of God. God always gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him.”

I want a clear view of God; but, at times, it hurts so much.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

long tomorrow

My cousin, Krecia, left us to go to heaven last month. She had a long battle with cancer. I was just reading her last email to me, and it made me think about heaven and eternity again.

I have often wondered how our loved ones, who go to heaven before us, could not help but miss us. I have recently had the thought, however, that in the light of eternity, one hundred earthly years would not even seem like a small “bump” in time. Maybe when you get to heaven, in a blink of the eye, you turn around, and there are all your loved ones walking toward you. Maybe it’s like no time has passed at all.

And this reminds me that I should be living my life in the light of what is eternal. My time, talent, and treasure needs to be invested in what is eternal. What would that be: relationship with God and relationship with others. If I miss out on this…I miss out on what is eternally important.

This is hard because there are so many distractions. There is so much that competes for my resources. There are so much hurt that I carry. I need to take more time to be quiet in his presence so that he set my thinking and priorities straight and he can heal me. I need to put this world in prespective…I need to think of the “long tomorrow.”

As A.W. Tozer writes:
“Even if the world should continue a million years not one of us could stay to enjoy it. We do well to think of the long tomorrow.”

I want to keep the “long tomorrow” in my sights. I want eternity to be my measure.