Monday, October 22, 2012


From Susan Hillis:

Coming Back to Life

Last night, David Foster, a friend I hadn't seen in decades, came up to me at my Terry Sanford High School class reunion in Fayetteville, NC, and said, "I think we have something in common."  
"What's that?" I ask.  
"Well, a little over a year ago I died.  Then I came back to life."  (I think he was referring to my Five Resurrections I have spoken and written of.)   
Full of intrigue, I eagerly awaited the story.   Seeing my inquisitive eyes, he continued, "Well, I was at a Duke basketball game in Cameron Indoor Stadium and I felt a little funny, so walked down from the bleachers to the lobby.  This guy sees me and asks, 'are you ok?' 
I told him I felt a little strange.  Then my heart just stopped beating...I fell to the floor with a major heart attack, with the guy who was beside me happening to be the head of the Duke University Hospital Emergency Medicine Program, and his ER nurse was with him.  They did CPR til the ambulance came.  If I had stayed in the bleachers or stayed home, I wouldn't be talking with you right now.  
So it was a pretty special year.  
That experience has opened a lot of doors."

God is Bigger than Floods, Conflicts, and Injustice

This story above reminded me of one of my journal entrees that stuck in my mind as a little hidden source of joy this past week.  Most of us haven't had an experience that dramatic, but most of us have had some pretty unsettling drama....  
Facing a storm.  Facing uncertainty.  
Losing a home. Losing a job.  Losing a marriage.  Losing a child.  
Struggling with injustice all around.  
This past week one morning as I watched the light of day replace the darkness of night, with my coffee in hand and my Bible on my lap, a broad smile broke out as the common theme across the readings for the day was revealed.  The subhead in my journal is simply this:  

"God is bigger x 3" 

- God is bigger than our storms. Ps 93:3 "The floods have lifted up their voice;  mightier than the many waters is the Lord." This was our experience after losing our home in the Atlanta floods 3 years ago.  Our family of 12 lacked nothing after the flood.  Nothing.  We lacked nothing in spite of the fact that some of us had lost everything (the flood had destroyed everything on the first floor where our boys lived).
- God is bigger than our conflicts and losses.  Hezekiah 37:3  "This day is a day of distress...children have come to the point of birth and there is no strength to bring them forth."  But the Lord says through Isaiah, as we keep reading, "the surviving remnant shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward."  We often come to the point of seeing no way forward when we have lost all strength and see a great struggle ahead, particularly when it involves our children or someone very close.  There is such a sense here that God will provide what these children need, particularly when our strength to provide any further is spent.  I have seen it happen again and again.  Wait for it and look up dear friend, to the One whose Hand fashioned them and you!
- God is bigger than injustice.  Acts 16 - As Paul and Silas sing and pray in their prison, and that singing somehow is accompanied by earthquakes that break the chains that bound him and all the other prisoners!  "And immediately everyone's bonds were unfastened."  I have been so deeply disturbed of late by the injustice that many young girls and boys face, all around the world.  I long to see the hand of God reaching down into the unjust circumstances that surround us and affect us and others we care about, reaching down and reversing all that horrible evil of injustice.  What is so shocking about this story is the way it ends with the jailer's family coming to real faith and real hope, having received real help from one Paul, who had himself experienced the Lord as bigger than his own storms, conflicts and losses, and injustices.  
So tonight dear reader, may you have eyes to see the Lord at your side, who is bigger than the crises that assuage us (floods), bigger than the loudest threats of fear and loss (Hezekiah), and bigger than the injustices all around you.  LORD, you are bigger.  YOU. You ARE.  You are BIGGER!  

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