Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"...but I have overcome the world"

I read a blog post yesterday that was exactly what I needed to read. Here's what really struck me,
...I welled up with tears of helplessness and doubt.
The doubt was never about whether God was powerful or in control. It was always about whether He was good. So today, when I heard from my sister [...]I cried helplessly again about His goodness; and I wondered where it could possibly be.
But this is what I am learning. I am learning that our Heavenly Father protects us from the dangers that are real. He worries over the destruction of our souls, the separation from Him, the eternal dangers that so many of us ignore like naive little children.
But He does not protect us from the living of the bad dreams and from feeling we are lost. He whispers to us through our pain that there is a life beyond the present suffering. He sits silently with us in our anguish--in the nightmares so real and heavy and terrifying, the ones that we cannot escape or blink away. He reminds us that the seemingly endless grief is but a moment that will fade in the vast expanse of the Life to come.
He promises, There is Goodness. There is More. But it is not often in this suffering world that we find it.
I think that maybe this is really where my struggles lay... in seeing and believing in the goodness of God.
So when I said the other day that the only options were that God didn't exist, or that He did exist but didn't care to help and save, I was wrong. The other option is this: He exists and cares enough to save us from that which we really need saving from. From self-destruction and hopelessness and sin.
THAT is His promise.

Through all of the suffering and hardships and disappointments that my family has endured, my dad was firm in his in faith in the sovereignty of God. It's somewhat ironic to me that when I miss my dad the most -and when I question and doubt God the most- is when I'm always brought back to my dad's words prior to his first brain surgery a year ago... that our trials and problems don't diminish the promises of God or change who He is. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end.
I'm going to end this post with a copy of a poem that my dad wrote, and that was printed on the back of the program at his funeral service:

Rising from bended knee, my Lord grasped my shoulders and, looking deep into my eyes, declared that the years of despair were over. Turning me, in order to look beyond the crowd, I saw...
...I saw my mission field. And I knew that the arm still on my shoulder would never be removed. It was time to work.
"But I have been so weak." I protested. "I am unable."
Yet even as I spoke this protest, I knew that my weakness was swallowed up in His perfect strength.
"But I have been unfaithful in the small things", I continued in my fear. "I am unworthy to be given more."
It was then that a deep sense of eternal Truths converged in my soul, and faith became defined, not in terms of an exit door from troubles, but as a mirror that reflects only two images: me- small, weak, and afraid; and the all-consuming presence of God, my refuge. No problem or surroundings can find its way to the surface of the mirror - all it reflects is me and God!
Faithfulness is not dependent upon how I deal with my circumstances, but on seeing only God.
~ Bill Russell, written 7/29/93
A bit of a departure from yesterday's post, eh?

Welcome to my world.


  1. Amy, I cried when I read your two latest posts today. I am amazed at your honesty with what's going on in your head and heart. Thank you for sharing - both the good and the ugly.

  2. Thanks, Sara.

    Glad you caught those tags too!

  3. Dear Amy,
    we are all so human-you are just willing to put it in your blog. Thanks so much for sharing your Dad's poem. A. Dianne

  4. I love you, Amy. I feel blessed to have you as a sister-in-law and blessed that you are willing to share with us your thoughts, your grief, your recipes, and your beautiful children. I love your dad's poem. It reminds me of Hebrews 11, where it is listing the heroes of the Bible along with their weaknesses, but by faith they accomplished great things.


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