Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cardboard Testimonies

This video really touched me today, here's the LINK. Such a great reminder of how unearned God's grace is in my life. And also the fact that his grace often comes through our pain. I've wrestled with this one. Why does God allow such intense suffering in such undeserving lives?

This verse struck me this weekend as I wrote a friend who lost her mother suddenly to cancer last August and now her brother to a car accident this past weekend. I've read 1 Corinthians 1:3-5 a bunch of times, but somehow missed verse 5. As sufferings overflow, Christ's comfort overflows. Wow. This doesn't mean that loss doesn't leave a void or wound us deeply in some way, but it does mean that Christ's comfort will overflow. It almost seems to me that suffering is a privilege because it strips us of what's unimportant and allows us to experience more of Christ, more of his comforting nature.

This past year there was a family who experienced God's comfort in a way that impacted me forever, as they lost their 8 year old daughter to leukemia. This family doesn't know me, but their son was in the same class as Haley, so I kept up with their journey through her (and other friends who know them). I went to the memorial service and the mother's peace struck me, it was unnatural, clearly a gift from God. What also touched me was what how the Pastor responded to the father's question, "Tell me this is not okay?" to which the Pastor responded, “This is not O.K. and you will always walk with a limp”.

This side of heaven suffering may leave us with a limp, but I know that on the other side of heaven it will make perfect sense.


Christy said...

thank you for that beautiful post. I always think how different we would be if God didn't reach down and touch us and allow us to limp along once in a while so we would remember that leaning on the world is NOT an option. I know for me and the trials we have faced in the past few years God has been a constant presence and his word a constant reminder that all things good come from him and when we lean on him to aid with our "limp" walk he restores us and allows us to minister to others if we are willing. Personally I think its amazing that he even allows me to do that. :)

Crystal said...

Christy, I agree so much with what you've said, esp. about not leaning on the World, but getting our "comfort" from Him first. I think suffering really deepens our person, our character.

Eileen said...

When it comes to my children, I can't imagine how I would handle a tragedy of this magnitude; how would my "limp" manifest itself on me? Would I be strong enough to weather this storm, leaning on Him? This post was a great lesson for me, for many different reasons. Thank you.

Janette said...

Crystal, Eileen shared with me that you have a blog so I stopped by to check it out. I believe God led me to read it today just so I would see this post. The message is truly beautiful and personally touching. When John's younger brother died from suicide, we were left with a kind of pain that can't be wrestled with. How does a Christian make sense of suicide? You hear about the hope others share when their loved one has died of some illness or accident, knowing that their loved one lived a full life and is at home with our Father in heaven. Our only hope is that Bryan has made it home to the saving arms of Christ. Life offered him no other hope. His limp has become our limp. They say a suicide leaves a permanent scar on a family, and it's true. The cut in the hearts of my husband,his mother, and sister are so deep that they are often re-exposed at any moment - at the sight of a little blond-haired boy, at a glimpse of a photograph, the retelling of a memory. Their limp is one like that of a poorly healed ankle, always painful and difficult to stand on. Thank God that Christ is who stands with us. My prayer is that John and his mother and sister will stand up under the arms of Christ and live victoriously in the hope of the cross. We would appreciate your prayers - even as it has been over a year since Bryan's passing, the wounds are deep. Thank you for your blog, Crystal, which sheds hope for the weary.