On this Saturday Morning, I am sitting at the kitchen table in Raleigh. I am here with my family to celebrate the life of our sister in law – Lisa, who is battling breast cancer. She is the wife of Martha Jo’s brother – Bobby Austin, who is the Solo Pastor of a growing church in the Raleigh area. Lisa, only 39 years old, with two adopted children, has fighting this disease for almost two years now. The doctors have found lesions on her liver and a number of small growths on her lungs. At this point, her body has failed to respond to any of the drugs used to treat this type of cancer. She is now trying alternate drugs and we are praying together for a miracle. The The family has gathered in Raleigh to pray for Bobby and Lisa and celebrate their birthdays – both occurring this past week.
This morning, both Bobby and Lisa were struck with a violent stomach virus that has kept them from joining us.
Meanwhile, I believe in, I trust in, I cling to, I rest in, I hope in…the Sovereignty of God. I must believe that God’s hand is in all of this. I must believe that there is more than this life. I must accept that we are all here this weekend by God’s Grace. I must believe that Bobby and Lisa are exactly where Christ wants them to be. We are where He wants us to be. We are at His Loving Mercy. We are in His Grace Filled Grip.
Christ Jesus…Father…O Spirit of God…may your will be done, your kingdom come, your Word be spoken, your Story be told, on earth, just as it is in heaven. Dark threads…light threads. Your Story is a tapestry that is woven with dark threads and light threads. Joys and Sorrows. Pain and Pleasure. Grief and Gladness. You invite us to share in Your Sufferings. You embrace us in the yoke of your love. You weave us into your Glorious Narrative. This tapestry is Eternal. No sorrow is without reason. No pain without a reason. We are here, Lord Jesus. We are gathered at your feet. We await the wine of your Suffering. We dine on the bread of your Brokeness. We count ourselves blessed to be called your Beloved. Dark Threads and Light Threads. Joys and Sorrows. We are yours. Bobby and Lisa are yours. Abby and Jalin are yours. Bob and Jane are yours. Ron. Elizabeth. Austin. Anna. Allie . Tim. Martha Jo. Callie. Camp. Kurt. Susan. Sophie.
In grief and in gladness, In sickness and in health, yearning for Your glorious return, along with all creation, groaning for your redemption, until the day of your appearing…We are yours.
Father, pour your Covenant Blessings upon Bob Austin and his entire household. Hold Lisa in your tender hands. Whisper words of encouragement to her soul. As she continues to cleave to life, may you be the Life that cleaves to her, until such a time as you deem best to call her into the joyful Blessedness of Your approving smile. Give Bobby that temerity of Spirit, the courage and the grace, that is willing to travel with Lisa to the precipice of your Promised Home, and to place her hand in Yours, knowing that his beloved bride has always been more your daughter, than his wife; more Your Beloved than his.
Yet, until such a moment as this, help Bobby, and we, to cherish every moment, smile in every sorrow, dance in every shadow, and delight in every tear; knowing that one day we shall be free, that Your Divine tapestry shall be revealed and that all flesh shall see it together.
Thank you for the Cross, Jesus. Thank you for the Story. Thank your for Dark Threads and Light Threads.
We are yours.