I hesitate to type this, thinking, “How many blog posts am I going to have to write from a hospital room?”
I suppose the answer is: “As many as it takes.” Because giving up is inconceivable, and letting go is synonymous with trust.
Writing these posts helps me to focus on Jesus. Looking at Him makes it possible to release the things I can’t control (the symptoms and the accompanying waves of fear that try to crash over me) into the most capable of hands.
It’s the theme of this blog and the often underestimated victor over fear’s taunting attack. My brother Chris recently preached a sermon over it that brought me to tears and to the feet of Jesus to ask for the grace to wholly believe. “When fear and surrender collide,” he said, “We can choose to surrender to God’s perfect love as it casts out all fear.” (At least that’s what my heart heard.)
And God’s love is perfect. His love is flawless and without error. It is a matchless love that drives out fear, leaving nothing to doubt. (I John 4:18)
His thoughts and ways and plans are perfect too. Our God is incapable of thinking anything less than infinitely beyond our highest human thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8)
God watches over His own Words to perform without fault all that He has sent them to accomplish. (Jeremiah 1:11)
He perfects, completes, and brings to an end the things that concern me. (Psalms 138:8)
Until recently, I never really understood the beattitudes (from Matthew chapter 5) and would sometimes puzzle over them.
“Blessed are those who mourn …” (vs 4)
It’s a paradox. An oxymoron.
Then I began to see the context for this, one of Jesus’ most famous sermons. With His words and His life, with parables and miracles–Jesus was announcing that the Kingdom of Heaven had come to earth.
This message of hope came to a world at its wits’ end. The physically blind, deaf, and lame. The dead and spiritually deceased. Those hurt by persecution or purposelessness or painful circumstances. People disheartened by religion and its ritualistic tradition. All of humanity grimacing under the weight of trying to reach God, to find life and meaning, by mortal methods.
If you are a blind man standing in front of Jesus, the Son of God and Word made Flesh, you are blessed. You are blessed, not because you are blind, but because the Answer to your greatest need has arrived.
The Kingdom of God is at hand.
Suddenly the mourner, shrunken under the weight of loss, glances up from her brokeness and catches the eye of the Savior. She is blessed–not because of her grief or pain–but because indescribable and uncontainable comfort has stepped onto the scene in the person of Jesus Christ.
The Kingdom of God is here. Not in the distant future, a million light years away. Here. Now.
The mother spending another night in a cold, sterile room is blessed. Not because of the disease or the struggle. She is blessed because The Kingdom of God–His rule, His reign, His sovereignty, peace, and power to work miracles–is right here in this hospital room. Right now.
I’m pretty sure the sweet girl in the crib next to me is somehow more aware of this Kingdom truth than most. I can tell by the way she smiles knowingly and laughs at things you and I can’t see.