Thursday, March 31, 2011

Embracing the Promises

I listen to Christian radio a lot. That is when "Go Fish" or "30 Bible Songs and Stories" are allowed to take a much needed rest. When we drove to Florida a few weeks ago I pulled the middle of the night straw. It only lasted for about two hours - although it felt longer - I was at a loss. I know a K-Love station has to exist  somewhere between Kentucky and Alabama, but I couldn't find it.  So I settled for some other random sleepy song station that kept the kids asleep.

Somewhere along the way Anne Graham Lotz came on. She told a story of a woman who would go to the church prayer meeting each week and bring her husband's shoes. Every week she would pray for him until "he would be there to fill his shoes." Her point was what are we doing to live in faith? How are we living faith filled lives?

As you all know, faith is not my strong point. Trying to be faith filled overwhelms me from time to time. I stop looking at the face of Jesus and start focusing on the size of the waves I am walking in. Rarely do I take the time to realize that no matter how hard things seem in the moment, my life is really pretty simple and easy.

Right now, life seems anything but easy. I hate - with all my heart - seeing my kids grieve. I know that grief has its place in life. Grief can bring hope. It is a breeding ground for empathy. Grief can bring healing. It shatters walls and opens the doors of the heart if we will let others in. 

I also hate what the evil one tries to accomplish while we grieve. The temporary victory is smeared in the face of the innocent and the seasoned grievers alike.  It takes so much faith to say "death where is thy victory." It seems terribly clear right now where the victory is. But it is not a victory for the evil one. It is however a battle hard fought and won. It is a race finished and a crown waiting.

Today Hope sat on the couch and cried. She cried for the Grandma she barely remembers and the Uncle that she dearly loved. Tears poured down her cheeks as she sobbed "I can't find them." I am so grateful for a God who hears. A God who cares enough to whisper to my heart so I can whisper to my child "We don't need to find them. We know where they are. They are with Jesus." The victory is ours. It cannot be taken away.

My reading today took me through the story of Abraham. Hebrew 11 records "By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son...."

He who had embraced the promise of a great nation was willing to cling to the Author of the promise rather the physical, living breathing, little boy tagging along with his daddy, tangible conduit of the promise. I want my faith to be that of Abraham. I want to remember that the Author of the promises is always worth embracing. When I hold tight to him, I never need to cling to anything else.


Martha Bishop said...

Wonderfully inspiring! Love to all of you.

Tiffany said...

Oh I am so sorry! Know that I am praying, and let me know if there is anything I can do.

Rachel said...

I am so very sorry. Thank you for sharing this... it is so true. I found myself struck by your words, "I also hate what the evil one tries to acoomplish while we grieve"... because you said this better than I was able to, to a friend who needed those words.

Thank you. And may God change your mourning to dancing.

He & Me + 3 said...

Wow Bethany. YOur words pierce tonight. This post is beautiful and so truth filled. It is also what I needed to read. It is amazing how God can use us if we allow Him too. You are a wonderful woman of God & an awesome Mother. As much as the evil one tries to win...we know the end of the story. So thankful I know the Author of that story too!
Hugs to you sweet friend!
Have a blessed week!
Love ya!

Marley's Mama said...

Thanks again, Beth, for incredibly encouraging words. I hate to see our little ones grieve too, and sometimes I am also at a loss for words. The Lord gave you wise words that can be used by others too, myself included. And you have encouraged my heart as well. I love you!

Brandi said...

Another beautiful post. :)

I've had difficulties with faith, but I can honestly say I don't think I have them anymore. My husband is an unbelievably faithful person. I often wondered how he does it? How can he believe... and not just believe, but KNOW, that things that seem hopeless will turn out fine in the end? He inspires me to embrace faith and just really believe and it's a very peaceful feeling. :)

Also? K-Love is my favorite station! I have the kitchen radio set to K-Love and don't listen to anything else. Again, the hubby has always listened, but the kids and I would listen to secular music in the car or when cleaning house. It finally sank in that when words have to be bleeped out of a song, my kids just don't need to listen to it.

Last week, I was cleaning the kitchen, and I needed something loud and noisy for motivation, so I put it on a different station. It lasted less than 3 songs and I was disgusted and I put it back on K-Love.

Amanda said...

Me too. Love this post... not for the grief that you have had to witness, but for the raw honesty that you have shared. Amazing girl.