Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hearing Truth, Finding Peace

The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I'm leaving you well and whole. That's my parting gift to you. Peace. I don't leave you the way you're used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don't be upset. Don't be distraught. John 14:26-27 Msg

Peter struggled to breathe. He lay inclined in his bed, but every few seconds struggled and sat upright, seeking a better position to fill his lungs. His agitation affected all of us. Every time he sat up, which occurred every few seconds it seemed, he wobbled side to side. We surrounded him, offering comfort and keeping him safely in bed.

We just wanted him to rest, to be comfortable. It proved difficult to find that fine line between over sedation and not enough. I felt totally frustrated when the song playing on my iTouch broke into my awareness.

Open up the heavens, Lord and show Your glory
God of glory, open up the heavens now
Open up the heavens, Lord and rain down mercy
God of mercy, let Your love come raining down

Help this tired and empty soul and let me breathe again

I started praying the song by Mark Schultz. Father, help Peter breathe! Rain down your mercy. Reveal your glory NOW! God of Mercy, Help!

I continued to pray and we continued to struggle as the song finished and a new one came on. I got distracted from the music as I helped Peter. And then the music, Matt Maher’s Hold Us Together, broke through my physical and mental turmoil.

This is the first, day of the rest of your life
This is the first, day of the rest of your life
'Cause even in the dark you can still see the light
It's gonna be alright, It’s gonna be alright

Inwardly I cringed at the words of the bridge. Hmph! I thought. First day of the rest of your life. Lot of good that does Peter with his about to end. But then I countered myself. No, that’s not true. And suddenly I realized the truth of the words for my son. Yes, his physical body was about finished, but he really was getting ready to begin the rest of his life, his eternal life. As a child of God, forgiven by grace through Jesus Christ, his life was not about to end but just begin! When he moved to heaven, he really would experience the first day of the rest of his life!

As the song declared, I rejoiced that even in this dark moment, God allowed me to see the light, to know His truth, and thus, yes, it was gonna be alright.

The thought of Peter moving to heaven, however, brought only a bitter sweet comfort. Oh, how I’d miss my boy! But then I heard the words of the chorus:

Love, will, hold us together
Make us a shelter
to weather the storm

And I'll, be, my brother’s keeper
So the whole world will know
That we're not alone

God’s truth continued to wash over me through the lyrics of the song. Yes I would miss my Peter, just as I missed his brother Andrew. But as the song stated, LOVE would hold us together. I could picture the three of us like in a team huddle, our hands clasped in the middle. The love we had for each other, and God’s love for each of us, would shelter us and help us weather the storm of separation. And I could draw comfort that my boys would be together, keeping each other, not alone. Better for me to be lonely than they.

You know, nothing really changed in the situation surrounding me. Peter still struggled to breathe and find rest. We still struggled to comfort him and find the balance needed for his support and comfort. Peter would likely move to heaven shortly. But yet, in the midst of it all, I now had peace. God had made himself known in the midst of our trauma. He confirmed we were not abandoned or alone. His truth overpowered even the most horrific circumstances that surrounded us with perspective. As I experienced the Source of Peace, my heart settled in peace. Yes the hurt remained, but as God’s truth proclaimed, that hurt would be temporary at best. More powerful, God’s presence, Peter’s peace, and our hope reigned eternal.

Friend, I don’t know what circumstances you face today. But I know you do not face it alone. Whether through music, scripture, friends, an email, a book, or any other experience you have today, God longs to speak to you. He desires to reveal his presence, to bring you peace. I pray you will look for God and listen for him today. I promise his presence will transform your heart, if not your circumstance as well.

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