Monday, July 4, 2011

Hope from Mr. Sam


I have always been a lover of good stories.
Stories with lots of meaning, maybe a little romance  and a great happy ending that makes you weep!

I tend to really like fantasy/fairytale type of stories. 

  My favorite books ever, are the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis.  They are children's' fairytales with these amazing, deep spiritual truths in them.  If you aren’t looking for the truths, you will probably miss them.

I’ve also become acquainted with the Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien.  I say to my shame that I have not read the books… Yet.  But I did see the movies!!


I’d like to share a scene from one of those movies with you.  The second movie in the Trilogy, The Two Towers.  I watched it at a very difficult time in my life of dealing with some of the most trying times of my son's disability and feel that watching this movie was very much my Father speaking to me. Yes, He speaks to me often through movies!

For those of you who are not familiar with the story,  Frodo Baggins (Mr Frodo)  is the hero. He has a job to rid the world of an evil ring.  He has his best friend, Sam Gamgee,  along to help him with this task that only he can do.   Frodo is at a point where everything that could go wrong has.  As he sinks to the ground he says…

“I can’t do this Sam.”
And Mr. Sam goes into this speech that just grabbed at my heart as I watched it. 
He said,  “I know, It’s all wrong, by rights we shouldn’t even be here, but we are. 
It’s like the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that REALLY mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were.  And sometimes you didn’t WANT to know the end... Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?” 
And as Mr. Sam goes on to share his thoughts, the scenes that begin to unfold in the movie are things being put to right without their knowledge. 
The HUGE battle his friends were fighting in another part of the country is FINALLY being won, there is a scene where a gigantic flood washes away the place where all the evil stemmed from, and Saruman the evil wizard, is left there standing helpless.
 
Mr. Sam continues…
“But in the end it’s only a passing thing this shadow.  Even darkness must pass.  A new day WILL come and when the sun shines, it’ll shine out the clearer.
Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too young to understand why...  But I think, Mr. Frodo, I DO understand.  I know now.  Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t, they kept going because they were holding on to something…

Our God loves to tell stories.
He doesn’t just tell us stories, he allows us to see them in the lives of others!  There are many truths we learn about the nature of God, his goodness and unfailing mercy and love through some of the stories of the Old Testament… the courage or Esther, the devotion and enduring love of Ruth, King David, “the man after God’s own heart", who failed often! Abraham, Job, Joseph… all of these life stories that have SO MUCH MORE to them than just a simple myth as some might claim.  Jesus taught many beautiful truths to those who had “ears to hear” through stories and parables.  

  
Our God is the King of happy endings.  I believe with all my heart that no one can create a happy ending like our God!!
…but He often does take A VERY LONG TIME to finish a story!


I'd like to share with you just a little bit of my story…

  
We have 2 children.  Holly, who is 10 and Noah who is 8.  Noah was born with a chromosome abnormality called an Unbalanced Translocation.  To try to explain this, If you remember from biology, we all have 23 pairs of chromosomes. That is how we start out and those chromosomes are in every cell of our body. They hold the genetic information that is very important for telling our body how to work and grow and develop.

So if something is wrong with any theses chromosomes it can really compromise your total being. For example if someone is born with three of their #21 chromosomes they have Down Syndrome this is why it’s often referred to as trisomy 21. (or three 21’s)
With Noah,   he has a little piece missing from one of his #17’s and has a little extra piece of #4 attached to the other #17. Noah is the only one on any record anywhere with this particular Unbalanced Translocation.  There are however, many other chromosome anomalies that are out there.
 
It’s just one of those things…  like lightening striking or wining the lottery.  It just happened out of nowhere. Or, "Denovo"... Not because of Frank or I being genetically challenged or doing too many drugs in the 70's... (we were kids in the 70's)...  It’s the type of thing you pray will NOT happen when someone is expecting a baby...

But it did happen.


Some of the things we’ve dealt with have been and will be.. Significant developmental delays, troubles with being able to eat and drink, six surgeries, hospitalizations, illnesses that affect him in a far more severe way than they would a "normal" child, seizures, and many other struggles we never thought we would have to face as parents. 

When I tell you these things you might have that sinking feeling of horror in your heart. Perhaps even that hint of relief that is is not you. “Oh my gosh, that poor woman, how has she endured?” Because that’s how I might feel if I were hearing this before I had Noah, and sometimes, it's how I DO feel. lol 

But I wish there were some way I could truly explain and describe to you the incredible thing this has been in our lives and especially in our relationship with Jesus. To be able to see how VERY REAL He is IN SPITE of all our circumstances!

Not to mention the fact that our Noah is the cutiest, loviest, little sweetie boy ever and I often feel I do not deserve to have such a sweet little angel belong to me!!

But there really is no way for me to explain in any blog or story, how this can be such a wonderful thing, because it was written in my heart. Perhaps if you've gone through a similar situation you may understand… or maybe when we get to Heaven where I personally believe all our incredible stories will be shared fully.  


Each of our Lives is a story that is being told.

I believe that our Loving God knows exactly what we are going to go through and exactly what we NEED to go through to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, Jesus.


Hebrews 12:2 says  "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the JOY set before Him, endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart!"

Oh... to not lose heart!  Isn't that the hardest thing sometimes!?

I once had a discussion with a dear friend and fellow mother of a disabled child. She reminded me of John 21:25 Which says,
“Jesus did many other things as well.  If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” 

We talked about how this verse must be talking about all the amazing things that Jesus is doing in US! All of us who Love!  I had never looked at that verse that way before, and I will never look at it the same again. 

I do believe that sometimes suffering and pain is what God uses for "the Good".

Romans 8:28 talks about how we can know that in ALL THINGS, God works for the GOOD. ~Whenever we hear the word "good", we may think of : comfort, feeling good, contentment, rest, having things go well.

But the older I get in my faith… the more I’m seeing that God is not all that concerned with our comfort or feeling good all the time.  It may not be at the top of His list for my life.  And that’s a hard thing to swallow. It does not mean He's some evil being, bent on my sorrow and suffering.  Because I believe with all my heart that God IS Love.  Perfect Love, can not possibly have an evil, mean or hateful intention or agenda attached to it! It just doesn't fit.

  I do feel that one of the many ways that God is able to "conform us to the likeness of His Son", is through Suffering,  Hardship and Trials.

One might say; "WAIT A SECOND!!! I didn’t sign up for THIS!! My life was miserable before I asked Jesus to help me out. I hated feeling bad about my life and circumstances all the time and all the horrible things my choices keep doing to me!  I didn’t become a Christian so I can suffer some more!!"

Yes, I agree, because I feel the same way!  I LIKE comfort.  I LIKE feeling good. I LIKE not having hardship in my life! 

My son has not had a seizure in five years... PRAISE GOD!   I can’t tell you what a blessing it is to live without the fear of him having a grand mal seizure for 20-30 minutes at a time in the middle of the night, or falling on his face from a "drop attack" seizure.

It is GOOD to be without that particular trial in our life right now.  Not that there is any guarantee that we won’t deal with that again. Who knows what lies ahead? That is one of the things I try to lay on the alter of my heart all the time. Give us Peace.

Yet, you know, when we look at the trials and the hardship and suffering only as bad, evil things that aren’t meant to be… and don’t get me wrong, this is a flawed world,  they ARE bad, evil and wrong things that aren’t meant to be!

But then we can miss the amazing miraculous thing God can do in our hearts and lives when we yield to his Good and Loving and Perfect Being, even in suffering. 
And dare I say... especially in suffering.


Romans 8:35, 36  "WHO shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: for you sake we face DEATH all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

THERE'S your guarantee! THERE'S your "promise". You WILL endure suffering as a child of God.  Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

I love the slight humor of 1 Peter 4:12-13  "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." 


I’m not going to even try to talk about how or what exactly it means to be "joyful" and "rejoicing" in a trial because I definitely don’t have that one figured out yet! Don't think I will this side of Heaven. 

 I DO want to take a moment to express that in all of this,  there is much room for real grief (however long it takes you),  for real anger,  for real questions cried out (and in my experience, "Screamed out!") to our God in the midst of our trials. He can handle them! 

1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” and the Psalms are loaded with the outcries of the fact that we often don’t understand what God is up to! Jesus wept. He sweat drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane as he prayed for God to take the cup away from Him.  On the cross He cried out, “My God My God, why hast thou forsaken Me”?  Jesus KNOWS what suffering is.

Hebrews 4:15  “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet, was without sin.”

  
God is the King of GOOD stories and happy endings. 

Jesus GIVES us the end of the story. He’s a bit of a plot spoiler.
 
 John 16:33  “I have told you these things so that IN ME, you may have PEACE. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I HAVE overcome the world!!"

 
It’s a done deal!!  He HAS overcome the world. That is our HOPE.  Romans 8:18  “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”


This is one of the verses I memorized during my struggles in dealing with Noah’s disability, and even though, I didn’t always feel it, I often recited it.  The scripture was SO good and healing for me. 

2 Corinthians 4: 8,9, 16-18  We are hard pressed on every side. But NOT crushed; perplexed but NOT in despair; persecuted, but NOT abandoned; struck down, but NOT destroyed. Therefore we do NOT lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we ARE being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. SO... we fix our eyes NOT on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is ETERNAL.  

When you really and truly grasp the FACT that all of these things are SO temporary and realize the promise of trusting in a Good and Loving God… who will not allow any trial to come into your life until it passes through His Hand, His good and perfect will… who loves you like only a perfect Daddy (and Mommy!) can… who has the very hairs of your head numbered…
Then all you can do is worship… LOVE BACK!

I’d like to finish this by reciting a little bit more for you from the "end of the story"…


Rev. 21:3-6  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying. “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be NO MORE death or mourning or crying or pain, for the OLD ORDER of things has passed away.”  He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”  Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”  He said to me: “IT IS DONE.”

4 comments:

  1. ...'because it was written on our hearts'...

    Of all the things you've written, this one wins. I think you're totally onto something!! He knows the plan from eternity past...anyway, this was a great reminder to me this morning. Thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to read it!

      Delete
  2. Thanks for this, Chris. You truly have seen the "goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!" Isn't that something? I am grateful to Him for planting you in my path. You're an encouragement. Keep on keeping on, Sister! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DeDe... how funny! I JUST reposted this on my FB and used the EXACT verse that you put here!! I thought at the end of my post to share this blog... and THEN I saw your comment!
      Very cool.

      Delete

We have this Hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
Hebrews 6:19