I saw you on that cold Sabbath morning--carrying two Bibles in one hand--walking with a limp to your car and your face showed a grimace of part pain--part joy. And one wonders how you keep going--how we all keep going.
I've heard stories over the past few months--prayer requests asking for warmth for his family during the hard winter storms. She stands close to me with trembling hands and she shows me this photo of cancer she has on her phone. It's eating away--oozing from her husband's arm. She's been his wife for 55 years. She places her hand on her heart and says, 'I'm afraid I am going to lose him'. And tears come as a new familiar for her--as they have for the past few months--
She fell the last of October after being exposed to some cleaners she shouldn't have been using. All of us are stubborn in some ways. And with physical therapy, rest, and lots of answered prayers she is doing much better. Driving again at 81 years old. But four days before Christmas Day she heard the news no Mama's heart wants to hear. Her son--mine and my brother's baby brother--my baby sister's older brother--passed away. He had been sick on and off for awhile--but nothing prepares hearts for such news. Nothing.
His body was filled with palsy--loss of feelings in his arms, legs--he couldn't walk--only lay in his bed day after day. And there were his friends--friends who loved him, cared for him, and knew his only hope of healing was to get him to Jesus. But how, the door was not wide enough--people from three different towns were crowding around Him. There seemed to be no way--until there was. And they carried their friend's bed to the top of the roof--cut out a hole and lowered him and his bed of affliction down in the midst where Jesus was. Just imagine the sound on the roof--the debris of dirt and straw, wood falling, and everyone in the room looking up in amazement--maybe even a little shocked. And there was Jesus--with the biggest of smiles on His face. Because of their faith--their trust in Him.
And a few chapters later in the book of Luke, written in red are these words from Christ Jesus, "Friend, go up higher." (Luke 14:10)
In troubled times words are often spoken, such as "I wish there was something I could do--something I could say. To ease your pain. To help you in some way."
There is, dear friend. Go up higher. Get them to Jesus.
And on this morning the sun rises and the earth warms to its glow. The heat feels good on old bones and numbness gives away to the shedding of tears like broken shards cracking in a thawing winter pond. And in the Son's arms there is warmth and comfort like none other.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.