Thursday, May 16, 2013

do we truly see?

"And he stooping down, and
looking in, saw the linen cloths lying; 
yet went he not in; "
(John 20:5)

In this verse, the verb 'saw' is from the Greek word 'blepo'. It means to glance in; to look in; to give a passing glance.

John is quick to tell us in this passage that he outruns Peter to the tomb but as he approaches it, he only gives it a cursory glance. He just kinda stoops over and looks in very quickly and doesn't really take notice of what he is seeing. Are we, as Christians, guilty of this at times? Do we pass by God and barely give Him a glance? Do we just look in as we walk by and then continue on our way? How many times do we not only treat Him in this manner, but His precious Word as well? We are so busy in our daily lives, that we tend to give God what is left over and not the first fruits.

"Then cometh Simon Peter following him, 
and went into the sepulcher, and seeth
the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that 
was about His head, not lying with the
linen clothes, but wrapped together in a
place by itself"
(John 20:6-7)

In verse 6, we notice the verb 'seeth' which is from the Greek word 'theoreo'. It means to carefully consider; to observe closely.

Peter gave the tomb a little more than just a cursory glance, but he still didn't give it a lot of thought. We, too, can be guilty of this type of 'seeing' as well. We can carefully consider Christ and still have no real revelation of who He is. We can observe the Word closely and still not have a personal and intimate relationship with Him. We can go through the motions of a Christian walk but fail to develop an intimate and deep knowledge of who He truly is. 

It's not just knowing about Christ that makes our relationship personal, it's having a knowledge of Him. We have to know Him in the deepest sense of the word. We can know a lot about something but have no true experiential knowledge of the subject. There is a huge difference between knowing about and knowing personally. Christ desires that we know Him in the most intimate way possible. He is to be our everything. He is to be the most important thing in our lives. He wants to be our all-in-all.

"Then went in also that other disciple, 
which came first to the sepulcher, and
he saw, and believed"
(John 20:8)

The verb 'saw' in this verse is from the Greek word 'eidon' which is the act of beholding; to perceive with intelligence; comprehension that leads to believing.

We can have a faith based strictly on evidence, but then we really don't have faith, do we? Our faith in Christ has to be based solely on the Word of God and nothing else. That is what Jesus tried over and over again to cultivate in His disciples. A faith based strictly on their knowledge of the Word. Their knowledge of who He said He was. After all, He was the Word.

They never could seem to grasp it until after the resurrection and then they finally got it. John 2:22 tells us that they remembered what He had said and they believed the scriptures.  Down the road, the Holy Spirit confirmed their faith through the knowledge of the Old Testament scriptures. Too bad they didn't truly get it while He was still on the other side of the Cross.

We need to guard ourselves so we don't become guilty of this as well. Lets not be too busy with our own agenda to really take a close look at our Lord. We need to be beholding Him daily. We need to be closely observing Him. Giving Him more than just that small inattentive glance. We need to be carefully looking at Christ with comprehension of His Holiness and His Sovereignty. We need to do whatever it takes to really know Him. 

That very evening, after they had been at the tomb, they met the Master. He had indeed risen, just as He said He would. The passing glances now became a sure knowledge of what they were witnessing. Jesus had fulfilled what He had promised. Our sweet Lord always keeps His promises. He is just waiting for us to begin seeking Him with all of our hearts so that we can see Him with eyes wide open and truly know that He is God.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

hanging on....

It has been a long 11 days since my sister came into the hospital for her stem cell transplant. It is one of those procedures where everyone follows the same basic pattern leading up to it and in the days following, but after the infusion of cells, everyone has different reactions to it. Cari received her high dose Melphalan on Tuesday, April 23rd. And then the next day they infused 2 bags of her own stem cells - 6 million total. April 24th was the day we deemed 'new life' for her. Then the waiting game began. It seems like this cancer journey is one big 'hurry up and wait' party. 

She did something called 'cryo therapy' an hour before the chemo, during the chemo and for an hour or so after the chemo. This is basically keeping ice and other cold items such as popsicles in your mouth constantly during that period of time. This therapy greatly reduces the likelihood of something called mucousitis setting in and causing sores in your mouth, throat and digestive tract. That and a lot of prayer has proved to be successful. Other than a little tingling and a metallic taste in her mouth, she has had no sores at all. Praise The Lord for that! Small victories that are cause for huge celebration!

Over the past 9 months, God has shown Himself mighty time and time again. There have been so many 'should haves' that didn't happen. There have been many disappointments that God turned right around into joy. He has covered and He has protected and He has delivered. And as we continue on this path of walking by Faith, I have no doubt that He is walking right beside us. And at times right in front of us, leading the way and clearing out the path that lies ahead of us. He is so good.

As of her blood work from midnight, her white count is .05 and her platelets are 41,000. She reeived 2 units of red blood last Saturday as her hemoglobin had dropped to 7.6. They expect that her counts will bottom out tomorrow and then after that they will likely hang there for a few days. We look for that day that the white counts starts building and building. As of right now, she has no immunity at all. She has virtually no white cells to fight with so she is very suseptible to infection at this point. We are very careful around her and we can't even touch her. We have to keep our distance from her in the room, and only get close enough to help unplug her and plug her back in!

She is so tired and so weak and it breaks my heart, but I know that this is a very necessary part of the process and of the path to wholeness. God has been working in her body since the day she was diagnosed, July 30th of last year. I can see the evidence of His Hand in so many areas of her life and the life of our family. I can look around and see the handiwork of God as He has lovingly ministered to my sister in her time of need. I can see His fingermarks all over the place!

How good is our God?? Oh, He is so good! His precious Word is full of Hope and Encouragment. It is full of Joy and Peace. It is full of promises that we can hold tight and cling to. 

And for now I cling to the Savior that is cling worthy. I fall face down before Him and reach out to grab hold of the hem of His garment. And I hang on until the blessing comes. 

"I love the LORD because
He has heard my appeal for mercy"
(Psalm 116:1) HCSB

"Yet He knows the way I have
taken; when He has tested me,
I will emerge as pure gold"
(Job 23:10) HCSB