“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.”- Hebrews 13:14
I woke up sort of feeling like I have been hit by a train. One of the girls slept well last night, and the coughing was minimal for the other. All the adrenaline from the past few days and nights is wearing off, and I am finally going to begin to feel the physical effects of what just happened.
We are “home”.
I state this in quotes because after walking through the week that we have, I am even more relieved to say that this world is not our final destination.
It’s just not.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free”- Galatians 5:1
Many of you have wondered or asked what sickness the girls had. When they sent off the virus panel, a part of me hoped for something more glamorous- something that, logically, would have put us in the hospital.
A cold. They have a cold.
This is the second hospitalization we have had with the rhinovirus, a fancy word that many children walk around with for months and months with no effect.
I was really hoping that the gtube was going to prevent future dehydration and severe illness from these kinds of things, and while it has certainly helped, it is clear that we still need to be diligent in protecting our girls’ delicate little bodies.
Hugh wrote his prayer warriors an email this morning, and he said this sentence,
“May we not be slaves to circumstance or objects of logic- but free to serve Christ.”
Objects of logic.
Logically, this week has been a nightmare.
I could spend all the time in the world dwelling on and thinking about the details of it all- how odd it seems that the girls have never been in the hospital at the same time, yet the one week of the year we feel called to have Hugh leave the country, they are admitted within twelve hours of one another.
The level of spiritual warfare in the details of our circumstances this week has been palpable.
We have an enemy of our souls who would have loved for us to respond in fear.
Having faith in the midst of “no matter what” does not require you to be a strong person. Having faith in the midst of anything- putting aside all logic and all situational details- simply but profoundly requires you to be so rooted in Christ that come what may, you are reminded that in Christ, you are quite literally, “raised up and seated with Him in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 2:6).
We don’t have to camp out in the brokenness of this earth when we know our souls have a permanent position at the right hand of God, solely based on Christ and His record and His righteousness and His act of love on the cross.
It is well with my soul only because of Jesus.
As the sweet old hymn states,
“Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved.”
Friends, grace teaches us to fear God with a holy, non-condemned, worshipful fear so that we do not have to fear anything else.
Though the mountains might move, we won’t be shaken.
In Christ, the details of this world can always be trumped with the sheer knowledge that we are promised we stand as permanent pillars in the house of God (Revelations 3:12).
It may seem like we are stuck shoulder deep in the mire and muck of whatever is in front of us, but rest assured, things are not as they seem.
A greater reality exists in the unseen, and like Paul, we can confidently say,
“…But none of these things moved me.” (Acts 20:24)
He promises us that as our days, so shall our strength be (Deuteronomy 33:25).
We cannot fathom the strength we are going to need tomorrow; nor were we ever supposed to be able to do so.
That’s the point.
That’s where faith steps in.
Like the lepers that were cleansed from their disease in Luke, we must know that we will not receive healing or faith or resolve or peace without stepping forward in trust and obedience.
“As they went, they were cleansed.”- Luke 17:14
I can confidently type these words because I very literally just experienced one of the most challenging weeks of my life thus far, and as I went, I was cleansed from my fears and upheld by His sovereign hand.
Beloved- afflictions are simply threshing instruments God uses to loosen us from the world (Isaiah 28:29). There is nothing enjoyable about them at the time, but as a believer, there is a deep-seated peace that is given in the midst that surpasses all understanding or “objects of logic”.
If you are stuck in logic you can never be rooted in Jesus.
At 3 in the morning on Monday night, as I walked from the hospital room where I had been up all night with a child who miserable- coughing and vomiting up blood every few minutes- to the Emergency Room to meet my mom and friends who had my other sweet baby girl, covered in the blood she had vomited up, lethargic and certainly needing medical attention- I simply carried my Bible.
I opened it up as I went to meet them, and 2 Chronicles 32 stared me in the face,
“Do not be afraid of dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.”
I may not be up against a king but there is an enemy and his horde of demons is real and if this sounds crazy to you, than you have never walked through a trial with God as your General. The war has already been won. He sees the victory. Yet, for us to be able to grasp this, we must participate in some of the battles. Yet, don’t miss this: only by His strength. We say yes to Him and He does to the rest- not with an arm of flesh but with the power of the Almighty God of the universe. And, because it’s quite literally not us fighting, we don’t have to feel strong to be confident in the reality that He most certainly does.
We have almost come out of the other side of this particular trial, yet I am sure there will be another one around the corner. I do not know what it will look like, how much of a breather we will have in between, but this I do know- I am relieved that He is the One who fights for me. I am assured that He will give me the ability to walk through whatever may come as I fix my eyes on Him and as I take hold of the freedom that has been offered in Christ.
Only by His grace.
“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”- Psalm 119:71
May our love for the Lord, the One who gave His life up for us so that we could be freed from the brokenness of sin and death and suffering forever; may this love propel us to see these hard things we go through as stepping stones to more of Him and a greater grasp of eternal perspective. We must allow God to have His way with us in order to experience the benefit of this peace no matter what is placed in front of us.
All glory today to Him and Him alone.
“The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures; He will my shield and portion be as long as life endures. Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come; ‘tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun.”- John Newton, Amazing Grace