Sunday, July 11, 2010

how it's supposed to be

I was going to tell you about our fun weekend and show you some of (quite possibly) the cutest pictures of Chica ever but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

For now something else is stirring in my heart and rolling around in my thoughts. I don't know why my brain is made this way but when I'm haunted by something I've seen or heard the only way I can work through it is to sit at my computer and peck away at the keys until it gets out. My typing has a hard time keeping up with my ideas, but I'm driven to try anyway, hoping that if the mess in my mind takes a trip through Microsoft Word, it may come out a little more coherent on the other side.

This morning one of our Associate Pastors (the man who hired Danny) preached the main service. He's a gifted leader with a pastor's heart. He's in his thirties and married to an incredible woman I met just this weekend. His message was on the sovereignty of God and a ways into it, he shared a personal testimony that, to me was the most powerful part of the whole thing. When he was eighteen years old and a promising athlete, he was diagnosed with a degenerate muscle disease. His muscles are in atrophy and the effects are already apparent. A few weeks ago he and his wife traveled to Colorado for vacation. Unlike his extended family members, he was unable to participate in all the different activities on the mountain. They were beyond the physical limitations appointed by his condition.

What must it be like, a teenager on top of the world, with great dreams of the future, to one day at one particular appointment, have one diagnosis take the rug of all your life's expectations and yank it out from under such young, hopeful feet?
When Reese was about six months old, a close friend delivered a healthy baby. A few days later, that healthy baby ended up back in the hospital with complications. At that point, we didn't know what the outcome would be. Late one night, her parents asked us to come sit with them. Sarah P came over after Reese fell asleep and we drove up to the children's hospital, unsure of what to expect and clueless of what to say. As we walked the dark hall of the intensive care unit we passed room after room of tiny bodies sprawled out in tiny beds with all kinds of cords winding about their arms and legs. The beeps from machines keeping track of their vitals echoed down the corridor and I remember thinking to myself,

"This is not how this is supposed to be."
As the rest of the family hiked and biked and did all sorts of Colorado stuff, the pastor and his wife drove around. He told us that he took his wife's hand and told her that he couldn't wait to come back to that very mountain with his new, eternal body and run and hike and go on every last adventure that for now, he is incapable of having. He spoke so powerfully, with great confidence that not only was Christ going to return, but that His arrival would redeem every last injustice, pain, and shortcoming of this temporary life. Nothing will be overlooked. And while his physical condition extends to all areas of his life, it cannot breach the eternal standing of his soul. Nor the promise of what's to come.

"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."
Revelation 21:3-5

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