Saturday, September 27, 2008

All I Can Say Is "Amen!" and Weep

Many of you know my dad died at the age of 54 on May 17th, 2007. His cancer came like a sharp turn around a very dark corner. It was scattered like pebbles throughout his whole abdomen and had taken over his stomach so that no food would go through. He in essence starved to death. He looked just like one of the pictures you see of the holocaust. I will never forget in the last few days helping my mom adjust his hips on his bed as he was unable to even come alert enough to look at us, let alone adjust himself. All I could feel was skeleton, it was so awful. He was in complete need of help. It was the darkest part of my life yet in a human sense. Everything I had every known to be a reality seemed to be turned upside down and entirely askew. My pain was still nothing like that of a parent who has lost a child I am sure, or a wife who has lost the love of her life (though it was for sure that for my mother), or the starving child walking in the dust of an African street. We Americans are truly numb to pain in a lot of ways. We won't even camp in many cases because of the discomfort of being away from our pampering daily comforts. Our kids won't eat (well, mine will because I don't give into this and I know many of you who won't either) eat their food because it's not what they would really like to eat. We want our home, and our picket fence and lovely dress for Sunday service. Mind you, all of these things are good gifts from God but they are not the treasure of our lives. "My heart and my flesh mail fail". To actually be in a place of seeing a persons flesh fail piece by piece, you see that verse forever differently.
Even what I went through with my dad taught me that God was not interested in my prosperity in the temporal sense. He was however, deeply invested in the prosperity of my soul. He took what the world would see as something dreadful, absolute loss, and turned it into a treasure in my soul that can not be touched by circumstance. With that behind me, this video brought me to absolute tears because it goes right to that place in my soul that I now understand. The place of absolute pain. Pain that feels like fear as C.S. Lewis so insightfully points out. The place where the world seems to completely freeze around you like one of those commercials where everything is suddenly still, only in this seen you are in the middle and you are falling on your knees in utter helplessness. You turn your face to the sky and scream at the top of your lungs "NOOOOOOO!!!!!!" You have nothing in that moment. No house, no savings account, no special outing this weekend to look forward to, no comfort of a friend, no candle you can light to pray and feel better.....nothing. Yet, you have Christ. You have the treasure of Him and the promise of His purchased gift to you, redemption. With that redemption is given to you the strongest power a man can know, the power of peace without understanding. The power that comes over you when all is humanly stripped away. The power of resting in the hands of a Living God and knowing with every fiber of your being, every pulse in your veins, every breath that you take in and out, that he is able to be trusted. That He holds you, and that He will indeed fulfill His ultimate glory and you have been lovingly purchased through great expense to himself, to reap the amazing reward of that of that ultimate glory.
This video is shockingly profound, it is not meant to tickle your ears. For me, I have found it to be so true that it reaches down and pulls back out that moment n my life when I was screaming out and the world had stopped. When I was there, God used the writings and insights of three men in particular to speak to my heart. Randy Alcorn, C.S. Lewis, and John Piper. Have you been there? That is a worthy testimony, that is the victory of your salvation, the glory of the gospel. That when your very heart and your flesh fail, the Lord is your treasure and HE IS ENOUGH!

John Piper is speaking:


Claire said...

Awesome video, Alicia! The little church (only about 40 people) we used to attend has been hit with tons of adversity recently. I forwarded this video to my (former) pastor.

Alicia said...

I am so glad you found it encouraging. It's hard to listen to, but it is 100% Truth. You know when you've been there, through that fire, and you have felt your treasure secure. Glad you were able to pass it on.:) May those belivers be encouraged in the Truth.