Archive | July 2015

Personalized 1 Corinthians 13

If I devote myself to ’round the clock service to others, but don’t have Jesus, my service is meaningless. If I have full knowledge of all circumstances, motives and intentions leading up to 8.8.12, but I don’t have Jesus, my knowledge is but dust. If I have the power to turn back time and undo what’s been done, but I don’t have Jesus, my power amounts to nothing. 

Jesus is patient and kind; Jesus does not boast or envy; Jesus is not arrogant or rude. He does not force His way or His perspective on me. He is not irritable or resentful; He never rejoices at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Jesus does not compare His suffering to mine; He does not discount my pain. Jesus does not keep score. Jesus stays alongside me in all things. He bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Jesus never ends. As for good works, knowledge, and power they will pass away. For without Jesus I only work and know in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a woman, I gave up childish ways. And so there will be a great transformation again… For now as a grown woman I see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And this transformation will be greater. 

So now faith, hope, and Jesus abide, these three; but the greatest of these is Jesus.

Thank you JRue and CT Teacher for your sharing.

1 Corinthians 13 (ESV):

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Fault and Intent

It might’ve been a breakthrough… I don’t know. It’s only been 9 days so I can’t say for sure.

Sobbing last Saturday morning, July 4, I told Robbie that maybe it wasn’t my “fault” Drey died.

I had just finished reading Appointments With Heaven – a book written by Steven Curtis Chapman’s closest friend Reggie Anderson. I don’t remember who recommended the book – if anyone did for that matter. I’m fairly cynical so picking up a book about someone claiming to experience supernatural events isn’t something I’d normally read. But my husband is rock solid, smart and discerning. And if he says Steven Curtis Chapman – who wrote the forward to this book endorsing it – is trustworthy and has a healthy biblical knowledge, then ok. I’ll read it.

The book was good. Not so much because of the supernatural experiences he’d had but because of Anderson’s honesty about the tragedies he’d experienced in his life. He questioned his faith multiple times. His honesty about his anger and doubt about God is what made this book good. Then I neared the end of it and I found myself leaping through the final pages in anticipation and excitement…

The last few chapters of the book addressed the accidental death of Chapman’s young daughter in 2008. Chapman’s son accidentally ran over her when pulling into their driveway. She was running out to ask her big brother to help her reach the monkey bars. Horrible, sickening tragedy. How does a family cope? I was eager to learn how the family responded…

After reading those last few chapters I knew clearly that 17-year-old Will had been behind the wheel of the vehicle that killed little 5-year old Maria. It was his “fault.” But “fault” wasn’t the right word because it was never ever ever his intent for this to happen. Never. In this horrible tragedy, intent – not fault – was all that mattered. Of course no one blamed Will. It was an accident. He was driving carefully. He should not be paralyzed by guilt. He loved Maria so very much.

The Chapman family did an interview with Larry King just a few months after Maria’s death – watch it here. Simply amazing.

It’s only been 9 days since I finished the book. I’m still digesting it, processing it.There are too many layers to this story, this grief, this hope, to adequately and succinctly write about now. All I know is that I was humbled by the question I’m sure God put on my heart… Why had I never applied this logic to my own situation? I never ever ever intended for any of my choices to result in Drey’s suicide. I would have given my life for him. I loved him very much and did all I could to make sure he knew that, too.

So, through sobs, standing in our hallway outside Drey’s room, 2 years 10 months and 26 days after he died, I told Robbie that maybe – just maybe – it’s not my “fault” Drey died.

My new view 

Drey’s death has revealed lots of character flaws… No wait…  Drey’s death has presented me with more opportunities to cooperate with God as He’s been working on my character. That sounds better. There’s nothing like a tragedy that knocks you off your feet, forces bittersweet dependence and produces fertile ground for sanctification. 

I am grateful for the new view I have. It’s peaceful. 

I am not grateful for how I got here. It’s gut wrenching.      

I’m coolio with the sacrifices I’ve had to make since Drey died. 

I’m devastated over why I’ve had to make the sacrifices I have. 

I live at a delightfully, refreshing pace more often. 

I wish I could’ve learned this pace without losing Drey.

I couldn’t do what I do without passion. God knew what He was doing. He prepared me the best He could. He was infinitely joyful, angry and devastated the day Drey was born. All at the same time. He knew. He sees all. He’s not limited by time. To see a new mothers love and at the same time to know the heartbreak her future held. To delight in the joy of a little boy scoring his first soccer goal while knowing the psychological pain he would soon experience. Surely the only thing more painful than what we live with would have been knowing what was coming ahead of time. How does God handle feelings of intense joy and devastation at the same time?  He knows how the story ends. There’s no other explanation. Can I have faith in what He’s told me about the end of the story?