In Christ Alone….To My Beloved Sister…

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There is a song that grips my heart every time that I hear it. I still remember where I was the very first time that I heard it many years ago. It is In Christ Alone. I have copied the lyrics below.

In Christ alone

My hope is found

He is my life, my strength, my song

This cornerstone , this solid ground

Firm through the fiercest, drought and storm

What heights of Love, what depths of Peace,

When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!

my comforter, my all in all

Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone who took on flesh

Fulness of God in helpless babe

This gift of Love and righteousness,

scorned by the ones He came to save,

Till on that cross as Jesus died

The wrath of God was satisfied;

For every sin on him was laid

Here in the depth of Christ I live

There in the ground , His body lay,

Light of the world by darkness slain

Then bursting forth in glorious day

Up from the grave he rose again!

And as He stands in victory,

Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me

For I am His and He is mine

Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death

This the pow’r of Christ in me,

From life’s first cry, to final breath.

Jesus commands my destiny

No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man

Can ever pluck me from his hand

Till he returns or call me home

Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand …..

I sit and watch my older sister laying in a hospital bed in ICU almost lifeless. There are tubes coming and going, multiple medicines being administered, bells and whistles going off, nurses coming and going and loved ones standing around not knowing what to say to one another. Each one of us feels a different kind of pain. We look at her with a different set of eyes, different experiences and history with her. We are drawn together because of her. We are drawn together because we all love her.

This is a glass window into my heart, into the very depth of what I am feeling right now at this very moment. IT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO TURN OUT LIKE THIS!!!! I want to scream so bad because my heart is breaking. I open my mouth and nothing comes out. I am angry and heart broken all at the same time.  I cry by myself, when I’m alone. Pride tore us apart, pride kept us apart, her illness brought us back together and the love of Christ gave me a heart to love her as if nothing ever happened. I cannot image the physical pain that she is in. She’s my only sister. This world is cruel Lord. It was cruel to You and it is cruel to us.

Death. We cannot escape it…everyone…everything dies. Many people anymore describe religion as a “journey.” The apostle Paul described a relationship with Christ and this life as a race. At the end of his life he tells Timothy that he won the race and that he fought the good fight.

I want to be selfish and have my sister stay here with all of us and continue to fight the cancer that has invaded her body. She is so tired. I am in awe with her that she has fought as long as she has. I am inspired by her strength. She fought and fought and in the fight she rededicated her life to our Savior Jesus Christ.

No one around her wants to talk about this possibly being the end of her life. I don’t want to talk about it. God only truly knows but if I were able to say anything to her I would tell her this…

Your “journey” is about to catapult you to a place beyond your wildest dreams. Jesus is waiting for you. This is what you have been training for here on Earth. This is what the hope you had in Jesus was all about that one sweet day you would be with Him, in His presence and you would be able to see Him as He really is. This is the beginning. It is not the end of life because your life is eternal! You did it! You conquered death. You have been fighting this whole time to keep your body alive when Jesus bought your soul for all of eternity. Now you can really live. You are free! Close your eyes….take a deep breath….now jump! When you get there save a place for me because I will be coming soon. I love you….I love you…I love you….your lil’ sis’ ~Missy

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How precious is the gift?

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours” 2 Peter 1:1-2 (NIV)

Conversation with God….
I was talking with the Lord one day when I suddenly realized that I do not remember what it was like not to have Him with me. What I mean is the moment you are saved your body becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit. I was saved at the tender age of 6, so, since then I have had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit living on the inside of me.

When I walked away….
Don’t misunderstand me. I know what it is like to walk away from God but HE NEVER LEFT ME! Like I said, I was saved when I was 6 years old. A marvelous day it was and I will never forget it. Unfortunately, as I grew up, the experiences of life and the pain it brought started to lure me away from my love of God. I questioned the character of God. I started to question if there even was a God. When I turned my back from the Truth of who God was and what His Word said I opened the door for more pain than I could ever imagine. I walked into a lifestyle that I thought would help stop the pain but it did just the opposite.

The Holy Spirit was with me….
The Holy Spirit was there every step I took; urging me to turn back to God. “Urging” is too light a word. The pain of my sin before me was so great but instead of repenting I tried to mask that pain as well. Hide it! As if anyone can hide from God. It was an ugly, vicious cycle I found myself in.

Those who bear witness….
When I would be dragged to church (yes, I mean literally dragged) the hand of the Lord was so heavy upon me that I wanted to run. I felt discomfort like I had never felt before. So, what did I do? I would like to say at this point I turned from my sin but I didn’t. I did the what a lot of us do. I avoided church.
Whenever I was around Christians who lived a godly life there was the hand upon me….pressing. I wish I could tell you that I learned from their example and repented. I didn’t. I determined in my own heart that I hated Christians.
I do want to make this one thing known. At this point in my life I had many people around me who called themselves Christians. These Christians lived the same as I did and I never felt the Holy Spirit convicting me of my sin when I was around them.

Repentance equals Freedom….
Fifteen years I played this cat and mouse game with God until I could play no longer. I was tired and there was no more fight in me. I collapse on my face before my Savior and poured all the garbage before Him. All those years I was searching for freedom from all the years of pain and I found it in those few precious moments. God is so patient with us. He was so patient with me. The very thing I was running from should have been the thing I was running to. I was free.

Our faith is precious….
That decision I made so long ago was the best decision I will ever make in my lifetime. Although, at the time I did not know it. I did not value my salvation, my relationship with Christ as something to be valued; precious!
As the realization fully came to me I was in awe. I have never NOT had Jesus with me. The Holy Spirit constantly convicting me of my sin because He knew God’s plan for me and it was so much better than the way I was living.
Oh, precious ones, how I have to rejoice and praise the Lord for the gift of my salvation. It is so very precious!

Digging Deeper….
There is a spiritual lesson to learn here.
Why do you think it was so easy for me to walk away from God?
Dig into the Scripture and see what it says about “falling away”. Hint: Look up Hebrews 3:12-13. See what the Scriptures say about “soil” in Mark 4.

Application….
Do you see yourself in any of these passages of Scripture? How about when you read about the soil? Are there any changes that you need to make in your life? Any sin to confess? Maybe, beloved, it is you that have turned from God and desperately want to be whole again. Turn my friend. Don’t wait as I have done. I wasted so many years. Jesus has His arms wide open waiting for You. He can wash you clean. Run to Jesus. His gift of salvation is precious.