"The Eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms"
This morning our blog is devoted to our friends, The Haughery Family: James, Emily and Alivia. Just recently Alivia was diagnosed with luekemia. They are pursuing treatment and she is undergoing chemotherapy this morning. Visit their blog for updates: http://www.aliviarachelhaughery32005.blogspot.com/
Their suffering is a reminder that every day we encounted our weakness. No matter where we are in life, God is about the business of reminding us that He is underneath our weakness. Encounters with death reminds us of our final weakness and life reminds us every moment that we are weaker than we thought. Yet his promises remain secure: He promises to strengthen weak knees and arms and bind strength to feeble (Isaiah 35.3, 1Sam 2:4). What a comfort to us all as we are reminded that Christ daily carries our burdens.
In this week before Easter, I am freshly reminded of the Gospel in the two aspects of life and death. There lies hope for both:
"Return o my soul to your rest for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears and my feet from stumbling. I will walk before the Lord is the land of hte living.
Psalm 42.2 "My soul thirsts for God, the living God."
CJ's blog on Together for the Gospel reminds us of these truths-- the Gospel has hope contained within it in Christ's life, death and ressurection. Friday we will remember his death upon the cross on Good Friday and then Sunday celebrate his triumph over death on Easter. I am freshly encouraged to remember that no matter what challenges I am encountering, that there is hope. I was tempted late last night as I was purchasing supplies for the first meal of our Alpha program, Life 101, to grumble and lose sight of God's purposes for my service. As I transition to a new church, it can be easy to feel like you don't belong where you used to, but you don't quite own a place. The swallowed feeling come over you-- and then you encounter someone like Jennilyn at Henry's. She asked what I was making and I was able to invite her to the program; this is where the hope is-- that the living Gospel is a vital part of everything that we do. It is apart of grocery shopping, church services, even hospital experiences. A good example of this is my friends the Walkers. I have known Mr. Walker since before I was born. He had a liver transplant in the 80's and when he was having another transplant over 8 months ago, he went into cardiac arrest and then has been in the ICU since then. There were many times where the doctors gave him no hope. As I visited him in December in the ICU at Georgetown, I thought I was saying goodbye. Yet God had other plans-- he has been slowly recovering since then. Marie, his wife, and his children, have been a constant witness to God's grace-- they have shared the gospel more time, given away CJ's books to the nurses and given glory to God all throughout his ups and downs.
These are all reminders, both small and miraculous, that Underneath are the Everlasting Arms-- He does not grow tired or weary of accomplishing His purposes.