Saturday, January 10, 2015
Oceans and Agony
I wonder what Paul's third heaven is (2 Corinthians 12:2). I feel like I'm caught up between worlds myself. I'm looking out, not really part of this one, but the other one I'm floating in so vague and unclear. I'm pretty sure the other place I'm stuck in isn't a heaven of any sort though...
I talk and write about Him from my scarlet viewpoint. I'm a worthless, double-minded, forgetful sinner, looking up to the One who Knows. The One (the ONLY ONE) who sees my empty pockets and the filthy rags I cover myself with. But when I lift my eyes to Him He meets my gaze and smiles. He scoops me up with both arms, because it is not the things I can offer, but my self that He wants. He doesn't ask where I've been, but receives me with joy!
His love is true. His Word is true. His Son is real and His testimony does not change. He made the heavens and the earth. He created life out of nothing, and continues to do that each day. He gives us days and numbers them. He gives and takes away, and He heals our broken hearts and our broken bodies.
His love knows no bounds, so why does it tarry so? Three of our beloved sisters who were once healed are now suffering with their original disease. One is too many! Where is our Rescuer right now? The enemy wreaks havoc and evidence of his destruction is all around, like an untouchable villain on the war path... while the unanswered prayers of the saints plead in unison as a soundtrack of this tragic story. This is a great opportunity for them to grow in their faith, I know. It is a special privilege for us to persevere in prayer, yes. God will not allow anyone who trusts in Him to be put to shame (Ps 95:1-3), true. But it is impossible to go on with the same confidence when you were once testifying about His healing and then the cancer comes back. The natural thing for all of us to do when we are re-diagnosed (or it recurs/spreads, depending) is to quit. Quit boasting of the Holy Spirit's power. Don't dare to ask for and expect another miracle; We remember that God numbers our days and agree with the doctors that that number is small. It is easiest to accept it and thank Him for the good days we had. Because it took every fiber of our being to beg for healing, to believe it, to rejoice in it, to live life as a healed person, to testify about our healing, and then to get the bad news. How can we face the naysayers who never believed in the first place? How do we quiet the mocking whispers that taunt, "It was all a sham. You were never healed. Your 'God' never healed you." Or, if we continue to stand strong with the truth of the original healing we remember, "I never knew anyone else who was healed even once, twice could never happen.". So we crawl under the covers. We hide our pain, embarrassment, and cover our shame with makeup and smiles. But our questions and doubts continually plague us until we water down our faith with weak, political sounding niceties that leave no doubt that the miracles we experienced will be rarely remembered, the once vibrant testimony and faith we had dissolve.
I think of the Tennyson quote, "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." In my flesh I think the opposite is true for healing. It feels like it would be better for all of us to have never been healed at all than to go through the agony of having been healed and then "lose" it. But somewhere in the depths of my dark, wounded soul, as I struggle to crawl back to the foot of the cross, I find the truth: It is better for these ladies to have been healed, to experience the faith-building freedom from such a huge answered prayer, yet to struggle with the disease again, than it is to have never experienced that at all. It changes us. It's incomprehensible. It allows us to "know" Him in a way that we could never get to before. And it provides an incomparable testimony that glorifies Him and continues to spread long after we are around. Moreover, it is better to have been healed because it was His decision. He has the plan, He did it, and His way really is the best way. It will strengthen their faith in some way to deal with their new problems, whether it is to enjoy as He heals them again, or to be dealt with in other ways. And finally, it may be true that it is impossible to go on after a bombshell like this, but the truth will ALWAYS remain: "All things that are impossible with men are possible with God." (Luke 18:27, that was on the cake we ate to celebrate my own healing, by the way).
So, what more is there to say? John 10:27-28, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand." The Rescuer came before, and He will come again. We don't know when. Maybe it will be today. Please pray for the power of the perfect Holy Spirit to show Himself within these women's bodies. Pray for their faith, strength, and total healing.
I might have posted this before. It's my favorite song. I thought I was the only one who had discovered it, but I guess when I was in my lala land it was released to the rest of the world. Anyway, the hyperlink will take you to the song itself. I wonder if anyone could really hear this song and not be moved. Like, lock yourself in a dark room with no distractions, close your eyes and listen to it, and if you aren't moved, send me a detailed note so I can try to understand.
Oceans by Hillsong United
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise my soul will rest in your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and you won't start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine