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Tag Archives: Biblical Truths

On Life Cut Short

letthechildrencomePersonal safety is largely an illusion we wrap ourselves in and are comforted by until the moment when it is either threatened or simply snatched from our feebly grasping hands. There is but one true form of personal safety and it pertains not to the body – only to the soul.

There are those who walk among us who know this truth far too well. Their hearts have been seared by this red hot truth and they are forever changed. They know firsthand that the multitude of verses about safety in the Bible are not promises of physical safety here on earth but instead refer to the absolute safety of the soul for those who have received the free gift of salvation and become sons and daughters of the king through adoption. This is the hope of the believer – this is their confidence – and this is their terror as well.   The veil has been torn from their eyes and they see all too clearly that the ones they love most in this world are not promised to remain theirs for the duration of their time traveling this pilgrim pathway.

There are in fact scriptures we prefer not to look at too closely. Verses that reveal the sin we either prefer to pretend doesn’t exist or feel is impossible to gain victory over rank high on that list. But also there are those that simply reveal truths we fear.

Psalm 139:13-16 contains one such truth hidden amongst David’s proclamation of God’s omnipresence and omniscience. There it silently lies speaking both a comforting and yet disturbing truth to those with ears to hear.

The passage is a familiar one for the average Christian and is often quoted in defense of the sanctity of human life. It begins,

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will give thanks to You,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;”

Then along comes verse 16 . . .

16 “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.”

It’s a profound truth – an awesome truth – one we should fully embrace.

“. . . And in Your book were all written, The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them”.

Verse 16 is one we should fully examine and meditate on; not simply breeze by as we strive to reach the end of the chapter. It’s far from insignificant; it holds vital truths of consequence to followers of Christ and lovers of the Lord God Almighty.

This passage tells us that every individual created by the hand of God was ordained a set number of days before they were ever born into this world.

According to dictionary.com the word ordain means “to invest with ministerial or sacerdotal functions; confer holy orders upon.” This definition holds a world of meaning to a Christian because it clearly states a truth we hold dear and also dovetails nicely with other scriptures related to sanctification and gifts for ministerial purposes.

When the Bible tells us that our days have been ordained it is telling us that our days have been numbered but it is also speaking of a broader truth. The scriptures are telling us that every single human being ever formed in the womb was appointed a sacred purpose – an assigned ministry (service for God) – every human being was, in fact, given holy orders.

Consider for a moment that every life was planned and assigned a holy purpose in light of 2 Peter 3:9.

“The Lord isn’t slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn’t want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act.” (GOD’S WORD Translation)

This verse tells us that in spite of our preordained life’s purpose, God patiently waits for us to accept or reject our holy orders and thereby fulfill our life’s ultimate purpose within the predetermined number of days appointed for our lives.

When a young father, a child, or even a middle-aged woman dies before the average lifespan has been fulfilled, it is not at all uncommon to hear their life referred to as one “cut short”. This, however, is a worldly concept, not a heavenly one. Every human life, regardless of its length of days, is lived to it’s fullest ordained measure. That can be both a painful and a comforting truth but as Dr. Adrian Rogers said, “It’s better to speak truth that hurts and then helps than falsehood that comforts and then kills.”

Bethany and Katie lived every minute, every second of life appointed for them. The moment God chose to create Bethany and Katie and lovingly and painstakingly planned every single detail of their individual and unique appearances and personalities, He also ordained the number of their days. Their lives were not cut short. They were fully realized and by God’s grace, they fulfilled His ultimate holy purpose within their appointed days.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Faith, Grief

 

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Uncovering Unknown Issues of the Heart

(Facebook Post 7/26/15)
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I made a personal discovery today, or maybe God revealed it to me. It has left me feeling even more emotionally fragile than I was before. I discovered that I know a lot about God from an intellectual standpoint. I discovered that I know a lot of scripture, even if I can’t associate the Bible reference with most of them. But I also discovered that I don’t “feel” the most basic of Biblical truths; at least in regards to myself. What is this truth that has left me reeling? This truth I know in my head but not in my heart? This truth that staggered me to the very core of my being when I finally became aware of it? This is the truth that knock my feet out from under me: God loves you, Janet.

Now, I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat in sanctuaries and auditoriums and heard how “it’s not about emotional responses.” That we can’t always trust our feelings – which is why we rely on scripture. I certainly understand that argument on an intellectual level. I do. I get it and I’ve practiced it. When my heart’s been decimated, I’ve clung to the truth that my circumstances are not a reflection of God’s feelings toward me. I’ve held fast to the teaching that God is sovereign but that man has free will. I’ve believed that God doesn’t cause bad things to happen but that He does allow them to happen. I’ve trusted that He never leaves me, that He walks through the bad stuff with me, that He uses the bad stuff to refine my faith and conform me into the imagine of Christ and to somehow use that testimony to bring the lost to salvation; that I’m a tool in the Master’s hand used to bring Him glory.

But somewhere along the way my understanding has become warped. All the losses and the role disease has played in our family is all intertwined with my faith. I’m messed up. If the sole purpose of my life is to bring glory to God and enjoy him forever and if God allows me to be hurt over and over for the purpose of conforming me into Christ’s image and to bring Him glory, then we aren’t describing a God of love, we are describing a self-serving or an ego-maniacal God and that, of course, is in complete opposition to scripture.

So, I know I’ve gotten it wrong somewhere along the way. Maybe I simply accepted the easiest answer to explain God’s sovereignty because I needed an explanation, a purpose, when no real answer could be found. God rarely answers the why question, so I found one I could attribute to an overall grand design. But I can no longer cling to this idea that all this pain is for my good or that it’s justified for another’s salvation. I need to “feel” God’s love for me, not just know He loves me in my head. Otherwise, I’m left feeling as if I’m expendable for the benefit of others. That God loves others more than He loves me. That I’m little more than a means to an end and that the pain it all causes me is not of concern to God. If His purpose is simply to conform me or lead the lost to Christ, then I don’t feel individually cherished or worthy, or precious in His sight. I feel used – that I’m being conformed into a Christian Stepford Wife. I think that is why the idea that some ministry might rise from the ashes of Bethany and Katie’s deaths, from Gracen’s injuries and progressive disease, has been so repulsive to me.

The logical part of my being recognizes that God loves me but I can’t reconcile my theology and my reality. I can’t feel it in my heart – I need to experience His love for myself instead of simply reading about it in the Bible. And I don’t know how to go about it – I’m not even sure there is anything I can do about it. I need God to do it – to change my heart so that I can experience the depth, width and height of His love.

I can’t even describe how broken I am, how tired I feel. I’ve got no words to enable another to understand the prison that my brain has become. The ache, the hollowness left in my heart – the utter and complete devastation not just for what has already happened but for what is yet to come. I don’t know how many more blows I can take, because I’m not fending them off, I’m taking them on the chin.

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I am worried about sending Gracen off to college but I’ve come to realize it is something we both need. She needs to experience it and I want her to as well. I feel so selfish saying this, but I need a break. Not from Gracen – I need a break from the constant reminders of the accident. From the visceral response I have to seeing or hearing that wheelchair coming down the hall. From the things I now do for Gracen that she used to do for herself. It’s about the tasks and lost health resulting from her disease and the accident – not Gracen, herself. It’s about all the unpleasant changes that have happened to the child I love more than life itself endlessly assaulting my heart and mind.

It’s relentless. I just can’t escape it so that I can somehow work it out and live with it. Not just living without bitterness but actually continue to survive the emotional, spiritual and physical destruction. Oh to be able to escape, to flee from it all if not permanently then temporarily so that I can catch my breath and get my feet back under me. So that I can quiet the constantly striving voices in my minds. So I can find some peace. I’m so desperate for a little bit of peace!

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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Chronic Illness, Faith, Grief, Muscular Dystrophy

 

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