Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Good Shepherd

So, here we are staring Stage 4 cancer in the face and even though God’s Word says more than 350 times “do not fear” in my human-ness/sinfulness - I fear. What I’m seeing is HUGE and it’s UGLY. Here's the latest news... If Scott does nothing, no treatment, he has 1 month or less. With treatment, he has 3 months, maybe more, but most of that 3 months will be hell due to the therapy. But we’re kind of stuck. The alternative is worse and it would be “messy”. And it’s scary looking. I wonder what King David was really thinking when he was looking up at Goliath.
I have wonderful friends that continue to lift my spirits with their words, prayers, and deeds.

And without them in my life things would be SO incredibly different. I had coffee with one of those friends last Saturday. We both have enjoyed some of the same movies and books and we are in a bible study together and yet often have very conflicting points of view. But, we love each other enough to respect those views. Anyway, we were talking about a recent favorite movie of mine that I am often blessed by called “Facing the Giants”. There’s a scene in the movie that she reminded me of and I believe this was “inspired by God”- where the “hall prayer” tells the main character the story of 2 farmers who were praying for rain. One of them didn’t prepare his fields and the other did. They both got the rain, but the one who prepared his field was rewarded for his faith. My friend pointed out that I’ve done all the research and preparation I can do ( I don’t know if I’m quite done but I get her point ) and now I need to wait for the rain. WOW!! More waiting, but I’m reminded to “have faith in the waiting”. To honor God in the waiting. Yes, Lord, I will still love you.

I’m also reading a book I’ve read several times before by a favorite author of mine, Phillip Keller, called “A Shepherd looks at Psalms 23”. Each time I read it I’m comforted or something just ministers to me and I’m totally BLESSED! And I came across a couple of paragraphs that really supported what my friend was saying to me on Saturday.

This book is really a comparison of sheep and humans and their individual nature. How we humans are really so much like sheep in our very nature. We, like sheep don’t rest if there’s any threat or discomfort.

Page 37- Ps. 23:2
“He maketh me to lie down...”

“In the Christian’s life there is no substitute for the keen awareness that my Shepherd is nearby. There is nothing like Christ’s presence to dispel the fear, the panic the terror of the unknown."

My friend and I were talking about the unknown and how frightening that is and then I read the above and the below. WOW again!

“We live a most uncertain life. Any hour can bring disaster, danger and distress from unknown quarters. Life is full of hazards. No one can tell what a day will produce in new trouble. We live either in a sense of anxiety, fear and foreboding, or in a sense of quiet rest. Which is it?
Generally it is the “unknown”, the “unexpected” that produces the greatest panic. It is in the grip of fear that most of us are unable to cope with the cruel circumstances and harsh complexities of life. We feel they are foes which endanger our tranquility. Often our first impulse is simply to get up and run from them.

Then in the midst of our misfortunes there suddenly comes the awareness that He, the Christ, the Good Shepherd is there. It makes all the difference. His presence in the picture throws a different light on the whole scene. Suddenly things are not half so black nor nearly so terrifying. The outlook changes and there is hope. I find myself delivered from fear. Rest returns and I can relax”. Just like sheep.

So here I am, “Baaahhhhing” away at my Goliath and my Lord comes into the picture. He’s really always been here I just didn’t see Him as clearly as I do right now. His presence comforts me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still somewhat fearful. I am still doubtful, He’s working with me on that one too.
Some days are good and some days, not so much. I have more good than bad days lately. I’m still very sad, but I know that He is there and nothing that comes upon me hasn’t already gone through Him first.

“If we win, we praise Him. If we lose, we praise Him. No matter what, we praise Him”.

And finally, my dearest friend in the world right now, sent me this song that was SO appropriate that I had to share it with you. Please click on the link and close your eyes and just listen. Just listen.