Sunday, October 28, 2012

Amazing Grace by Carolyn

This week our family had to digest some really bad news.  It can happen to anyone, but this news truly is 1 in a million.  Our nephew and his wife discovered their two year old son has a disease known as plasminogin deficiency.  He developed what appeared to be conjunctivitis on July 4th while we were all  vacationing in Michigan.  But it would not yield to the usual treatments.  Surgery was recommended to ease the condition.  Two surgeries later his eye was worse than ever.  Last Friday doctors finally recognized this genetic illness which affects approximately one child in a million.  It can be life threatening as it can affect any of the mucous membranes in the body.

His older sister is 3.  She is already facing surgery next month to repair a hole in her heart.  This is very serious, but not complicated.  She would be in surgery for six hours, then three days in the hospital, two weeks at home quietly recovering and then...back to normal.  But, she has a one in four chance of having the same genetic deficiency.  If she has it, the surgery will be postponed.  They will know next week.  Their world has suddenly been turned upside down. 

I bring all this up because the Lord provided just the right message for us today in church.  We opened our Bibles to Psalm 22.  I was unfamiliar with it, but I had written many notes on it in my old Bible. 

"Where are you?"  David asks God.  "Why are you so far away?  Why are you silent?"  David feels alone.  He feels deserted and abandoned by the One he loves so much, by the One he knows loves him.  He is wasting away.  He says in verse 15, "You have laid me in the dust of death."  He is alone, discouraged, desperate.  One author says he is "throbbingly alienated."  He is separated from God.

What do we do when God is silent?  Where do we turn for help?  David shows us quickly in verse 4.  He says, "In You our fathers put their trust.  They trusted and You delivered them.  They cried to you and were saved, in You they trusted and were not disappointed."  God asks us often to remember how He has helped us in the past.  When we look back and see what He has done, it helps us cope with the current challenges.

There are several verses that follow where David cries out to God.  He describes his thoughts and his situation.  He appeals to the God he knows for help.  He is perplexed.  He doesn't understand.  He is confused, isolated and tormented by his enemies.  He continues to appeal and begs God for immediate intervention.

Then, in verse 19 there is a change in David's tone.  He grows stronger and stronger as he recites who his God is and what He can do.  "But You, oh Lord, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.  Deliver my life from the sword, my precious life for the power of the dogs.  Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen."

Immediately following that he tells the Lord in verse 22, "I will declare Your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise You....revere Him, all you descendants of Israel!"  His spirit is lifted higher and higher as he is picked up out of the pit of despair by the God who loves him.  He concludes by saying in verse 30, "Posterity will serve Him; future generations will be told about the Lord.  They will proclaim His righteousness to a people yet unborn-for He has done it."

What a difference from verse 1!  How did this happen?  What changed?  David changed.  God changed David. 

My family is still where David was.  We are crying out to God to help and to heal these dear, precious children.   At any moment He could intervene and show us His way.  At any moment He could intervene and turn that upside down world right side up!  At any moment He could change us.  We will wait upon the Lord and trust Him... for His amazing grace.

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