It has been a couple of weeks since I posted on my blog site. A number of you already know that my brother Donnie had a stroke in the early morning hours of Monday, June 1st and was rushed to a hospital in Charlotte.
These past two weeks we have been back and forth to the Queen City in North Carolina to be with Donnie’s wife Pam and daughter Laura. It has been what you might expect – days that ebb and flow with hope followed by despair. Currently we are feeling the former – HOPE! While pushing back against despair that hijacks your minutes and hours as if you have no other choice. You do, we all do.
As a Pastor I decided a long time ago to share with my friends at Life Community this truth; there are times when despair seems to have my phone on speed dial. (Just made myself a note to spend two or three posts on why that can happen to a pastor or anyone else and why it makes perfect sense.)
This past weekend has been one of HOPE! I love hope. I crave hope. I am ME when hope comes knockin. Just as you are you when hope knocks at your door.
Permission to speak frankly? Thanks. Donnie’s stroke, which has about three medical science words attached to it, came as many of these matters of life do – UNEXPECTED. Living in the midst of a pandemic and a nation filled with hate following the killing of George Floyd already had me, and perhaps you too, unavailable for anything else being dropped into my LIFE.
Stuff happens. Things pile on. That’s life. Where do we find the ability to juggle multiple crises while maintaining some degree of sanity? The Psalmist gave an answer to this much asked question in his 121st chapter. The poet writes; I lift my eyes up to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Help can come from a variety of outlets. According to the writer, the psalmist insists that it comes from the Lord. The Hebrew counterpart being Jehovah, or for us, God. At times of hope or despair this is where help comes from, where help is brought into our lives. It’s where someone beyond us steps into our life in order to overcome the latest uninvited guest that has taken refuge in and around us.
I like the sound of that. Help being brought into my life. Over these past several years I hav learned the real value in trusting my stuff with the Lord. Recently our family was gifted a book entitled Guerrillas of Grace with this sub-title: Prayers For The Battle. It was written by Ted Loder whom I believe to be one of the most imaginative writers in this genre that I have ever read.
This past Sunday at Life Community I read this poetic prayer in my opening comments. I recommend it to all who happen upon it, with hope that can pull you out of despair. Find it below.
Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you.