Sunday, 28 June 2009

He gives and takes away

He gives and takes away.

This week has contained more than it's share of taking away.

There were, of course, the deaths of famous celebrities Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett.

There were also two deaths that hit much closer to home for me.

This past Father's Day Sunday, a 49 year old father of 4 collasped shortly before crossing the finishing line of the local marathon alongside one of his two daughters. After remaining in a coma for several days, he passed away on Friday. His family are members of my in-laws church where we attended for a short time.

And this past week, a couple from our church had their moment of greatest joy turn into a sudden tragedy. Wes and Ashley gave birth to their firstborn daughter on Monday, but something went wrong during the delivery and baby Ciara (pronounced Sierra) died on Friday. I cannot begin to imagine the pain these parents are going through and the long road they have ahead of them.

Just over 2 short months ago, Mike & Kristen lost their daughter Georgia to SMA.

Stellan continues to struggle in out out of the hospital with SVT.

Just over a year ago, Todd & Angie Smith (from the musical group, Selah) said goodbye to their fourth daughter Audrey just hours after her birth.

I have lost two babies to miscarriages early in pregnancy and I lost my first dad when I was just 2 years old.

As I mentioned in this previous post on the same subject, most of this life's tragedies are a result of the fall of man, the direct result of sin. Even creation was disfigured as a result of the fall - resulting in natural disasters and more minor annoyances like weeds and mosquitoes. Until Jesus comes to take us home, we have to live on this less-than-perfect earth - experiencing all the high and lows that go along with it.

But God is sovereign, He is still on His throne.

And He weeps with us during these times of intense sorrow and grief. One day...... "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." Revelation 21:4

2 Corinthians 4:8-10, 16-18 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.......That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Jesus is coming back. And when He does, He will wipe away every tear, He will right every wrong, and we who enjoy an imperfect relationship with Him here on earth, will finally celebrate a perfect relationship with Him for all eternity.

Thankfully, in the meantime, we are given opportunity to experiences glimpses of the joy awaiting us. Our family, our friends, music, art, a good book, a delicious meal. All just a taste of the perfection awaiting us in heaven.

But no matter if we are currently experiencing joy or sorrow - Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He alone is worthy of our praise.

Job 1:21 The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.

I've always loved the song Praise You in This Storm by Casting Crowns (I pretty much like everything by Casting Crowns!).

I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
stepped in and saved the day
but once again, I say "Amen," and its still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear you whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God that gives
And takes away

I'll praise you in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You herd my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't Find you

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear you whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God that gives
And takes away

I'll praise you in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I lift my eyes into the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The maker of Heaven and Earth

I lift my eyes into the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The maker of Heaven and Earth


I'll praise you in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

Like most songs, this was inspired by real life events and it is a truly remarkable story. You can read the story behind this song here.

And please, pray for the families I mentioned above. That God would give them the comfort and peace they so desperately need.

5 comments:

ValleyGirl said...

Amen. You have such a wonderful way with words. It's good to remind ourselves that God doesn't just take away the good things in our lives ~ He also removes a lot of the bad things too, like doubts, fears, sorrows, and pain. But either way, through joy or sorrow, it's reassuring to know He is in control, regardless of the happenings in our lives.

Jobina said...

Wow, that's a lot of sadness. I was reading a book today and loved when they talked about how when Lazarus died and Jesus stood outside the tomb he didn't berate everyone for crying or point out that Lazarus was in heaven now...he cried with them. How beautiful is that? That the Son of God cries with us and feels the pain that we feel. Beautiful.

Nicole said...

Thank you for that post Tammy, it encouraged me at a time when I need it.

Praying for the families of those who have lost someone..

Pamela said...

:)

We were thinking the same things yesterday....I was processing a blog post on the same topic and before I sat down to post, I checked my google reader and found your post! It is good to know that our God is in control and that he alone is God over all. It still does not make goodbyes and failed plans easy to understand or easy.

Roo said...

xo reading this post reminded me of the rita springer song, "holy"...
theses are the words...

Holy, You are still holy
Even when the darkness surrounds my life
Sovereign, You are still sovereign
Even when confusion has blinded my eyes

Lord, I don't deserve Your kind affection
When my unbelief has kept me from Your touch
I want my life to be a pure reflection
Of Your love

And so I come into Your chamber
And I dance at Your feet, Lord
You are my Saviour
And I'm at Your mercy
All that has been in my life
Up 'til now
It belongs to You
You are still holy

Holy, You are still holy
Even though I don't understand Your ways
Sovereign, You will be sovereign
Even when my circumstances don't change

Lord, I don't deserve your tender patience
When my unbelief has kept me from Your truth
I want my life to be a sweet devotion
To You

And so I come into Your chamber
And I dance at Your feet, Lord
You are my Saviour
And I'm at Your mercy
All that has been in my life
Up 'til now
It belongs to You
I belong to You

And so I come into Your chamber
And I dance at Your feet
You are my Saviour
And I'm at Your mercy
All that has been in my life
Up 'til now
It belongs to You
I belong to You
You are still holy
You are still sovereign
You are still holy, Lord
You are still righteous
You are all-knowing
You are still holy

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