It is nearly time for my children to awake this Sunday morning. I am putting the final touches on my sermon as I go over it this morning. And Ray is in the hospital, receiving IV antibiotics for an infection that could be very harmful. It has been a difficult few days.
I never cease to be amazed at God's grace poured out in the midst of trial. I have seen it in the folks who have helped care for my children, prayed for us, called us, run errands for us. I have thought again about how God promises to care for God's children. I feel very cared for.
When Ray was first diagnosed on Thursday with the possibility of MRSA, which is complicated by his artificial heart valve, I felt on edge and teary for the first 24 hours. That has given way to God's amazing care for us. I feel a certainty in my spirit that everything will be OK. I don't mean that in the platitude sense of the word. I don't mean I am sure "everything will turn out the way I want it to." I mean that no matter what happens, even if "the worst" were to happen, I know God is with me, is with us, and God always provides.
This is how I am defining the peace that passes all understanding. It doesn't preclude other emotions. Mysteriously, this peace permeates all of it, and carries me along.
So today I am looking forward to worship, to pouring my heart out again before God, and to placing myself and those I love into God's tender care yet again...it is an ongoing process.
I love the words from Isaiah 61 this morning:
1. The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
2. to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3. to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, to display his glory...
10. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11. For as the earth brings forth its shoots,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
to spring up before all the nations.
It makes me want to put on some bright outrageous looking "garments of salvation"