Monday, March 22, 2010

What a Week!

It seems that the blows just keep coming! Last week, we heard the news of little Jedidiah Harper's cancer. I don't know anything other than preliminary updates on him yet...they are going to be getting test results today, which will determine his plan of treatment. Please link to the Harper House blog in the right hand column for the most up-to-date information on Jed, and continue to keep him and his family in your prayers.

Then we heard the news that a true American hero lost his life in Afghanistan, drawing enemy fire away from his squadron, who were pinned down. From what we understand, his brave and selfless actions saved the lives of many American troops. His parents attend our church, and he grew up in Hot Springs. His funeral will be Wednesday, and will be an amazing opportunity for the gospel to be preached to a large and diverse audience. Please pray that God will be glorified in Adam Brown's death, even as He was during his life.

We also received word that a six-year-old boy who has been battling neuroblastoma for the last four years went to Heaven this week. He was quite often in the bed next to Hannah getting his chemo treatments while she got her platelet infusions. He was always happy and playful with the nurses while he was there. A cute little blond-headed boy.

And we received word that the husband of a friend of ours from Crossett passed away this week after battling Alzheimer's disease for several years...much younger than most who are struck down by Alzheimer's, and a very intelligent, strikingly handsome man when we knew him.

Finally, there is this healthcare debacle going on in our nation's capitol. I personally believe our country is headed in the wrong direction, and it's hard to see how we're going to be able to avert disaster for much longer.

I'm sure you could compile a similar list of tragedies and difficulties in your own life and in the lives of those around you. Aren't you glad that this world isn't all there is? One of the things God is teaching me through the experiences of the last two years is the importance of an eternal perspective. From an earthly perspective, all these things seem like tragedies...but God is in full control and has a purpose for all of it...even if we don't understand it in the least.

I love music...I constantly have music playing around me at home, in the car, and even at work when I don't have students with me. And I have a deep love for the old hymns of the faith...songs that, at least at my church, we rarely sing anymore. Now, don't get me wrong...I love all of the contemporary Christian music too...that's what I usually surround myself with...but I really miss singing those old hymns. The lyrics are just so rich, and have much more substance than so many of the songs we sing today. I have a hymnbook at home and I was paging through it this afternoon, looking at some of these hymns, and this one jumped out at me as a good way to close this post today. How sweet to know we can trust Him in all circumstances...

Have Faith In God
Text and Music by B. B. McKinney, 1934

Have faith in God when your pathway is lonely,
He sees and knows all the way you have trod;
Never alone are the least of His children;
Have faith in God, have faith in God.

Have faith in God when your prayers are unanswered,
Your earnest plea He will never forget;
Wait on the Lord, trust His Word and be patient,
Have faith in God, He'll answer yet.

Have faith in God in your pain and your sorrow,
His heart is touched with your grief and despair;
Cast all your cares and your burdens upon Him,
And leave them there, oh, leave them there.

Have faith in God though all else fail about you;
Have faith in God, He provides for His own;
He cannot fail though all kingdoms shall perish,
He rules, He reigns upon His throne.

Chorus: Have faith in God, He's on His throne;
Have faith in God, He watches o'er His own;
He cannot fail, He must prevail;
Have faith in God, have faith in God.

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