Tag Archives: Worship

My Anchor

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My Anchor

We sang “Anchor” by Hillsong United in church on Sunday.  It’s a beautiful song and I adore the imagery of Jesus as my anchor.  In the middle of any upsetting situation, faced with any temptation, or in any trial or storm I should find myself; I need only to look to Jesus to secure me – to hold me in safety.  With Him there’s no way I can be snatched away by the winds.  I can’t be lost.  He is my anchor.  It makes me think of the story of a man who lashed himself to a palm tree in the middle of a hurricane.  Buffeted by the fury of the storm he was bruised and bloodied but survived only because he was anchored to the tree.  Jesus … as my palm tree.  How comforting is that truth?

While we were singing, two lines of lyric struck me in such a way that I had to immediately sit down during worship and write them down.  The first was, “Your word, unfailing.

Your word, unfailing.

Out of the entire song … why is this line touching me?  I ponder in the days to follow and more questions than answers develop.  How do I know God’s word is unfailing?  I also recognize that I add a comma to the lyric where we naturally pause when we sing.  Is there a comma in the original lyric?  Does the writer of these lyrics mean God’s word as in the Scriptures or does he mean God’s Word as in Jesus?  Does he mean both?  Does it matter?  I begin my study …

First, the dictionary:  Unfailing. (Adj)

1. not failing; not giving way; not falling short of expectation; completely dependable

2. inexhaustible; endless

Then the thesaurus:  Unfailing … meaning certain, dependable, reliable, trustworthy, constant, consistent, abiding, lasting.

Finally, in the Scriptures I search for the word “word” in the HCSB and find:

Every word of God is pure;

He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. ~ Proverbs 30:5

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… My word that comes from My mouth

will not return to Me empty,

but it will accomplish what I please

and will prosper in what I send it to do. ~ Isaiah 55:11

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Heaven and earth will pass away,

but My words will never pass away. ~ Matthew 24:35

 

God’s word is unfailing.  It is pure, it is strong and true, it can accomplish God’s purpose (making it alive), and it will never die.

If you’ve read the Bible more than once then you know that the same verse of Scripture can have vastly different meanings to you each time you read it.  I can attest that even day-by-day God’s word can have different meanings and perform new works in one’s heart.  I will never forget reading a fairly long passage of Scripture one day and deriving nothing from it other than a good story.  The very next day I reread it and was flabbergasted by the significance and the lesson it was teaching me.  I was especially convicted of how superficially I’d read it the day before that I spent a long time asking God for His forgiveness and to help me to never read his word so casually again.

It was a direct example of how God’s word accomplished His purpose in me.  We can rely on the Scriptures.  They have proven to be true, trustworthy, and consistent.  Just consider that our Bible was written over thousands of years, penned by many different people, but authored by only one – God’s Holy Spirit.

Then I took a look at the word as God’s Word.

In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God. ~ John 1:1

We need not read beyond Genesis to see the plurality of God, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” (Gen 1:26a) God only has to speak a word and worlds are formed.  Then John confirms that the Word was there in the beginning, with God and was God.  Jesus is that Word.  The very breath of God that called the universe into existence.  I love in Colossians where Paul states, “For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth … … all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Col 1:16)  Why?  Because He is the Word.  He is God.  Alpha and Omega.  He was there from the beginning and He’ll be there until the end … unfailing.

I think I now know why this lyric is tugging at my soul.  There is nothing … no thing … on this earth that is truly unfailing except God. Friends grow apart.  Attitudes change.  Everything, even you and I, dies.

Only Jesus is my One True Constant.  My Rock.  He and His word are unfailing.

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What’s a favorite lyric of yours that has touched you in some way?

 

It’s Not the Cancer That’s Killing Me

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It’s Not the Cancer That’s Killing Me

I sat in the neurologist’s office the other day and heard myself ask, “Do you think I’ll ever walk properly again?”  I was sitting behind still on the exam table, my feet swinging free because she had needed to tap my knees and watch my reflex.  “Ouch,” I said as she used that baby rubber triangular hammer on my right knee.  She moved on to the other leg, “Yow!” I remarked sharply as the baby hammer fell against my left knee.  It was part of the reason I was here.  I’ve fallen a few times and landed squarely on my knees which is why they sting so much from a baby rubber hammer tap-tap-tapping away.  I’ve fallen because I’m not steady on my feet and I’m experiencing a bit of a foot drop while walking.  I can’t wear flip flops because I can’t grasp with my toes (and believe me that’s a real pain in Florida) and at home, with no shoes on, my feet dully smack the tile floor … I call myself Slappy.

The neurologist, having completed my exam, sat at the computer with her back to me typing her findings into my record.  I do love that about Cleveland Clinic – I can visit any doctor in a multitude of different locations across the state and each office has complete and immediate access to my history.  She stopped typing when I asked the question I knew she really couldn’t answer.  I was essentially asking if I’d ever walk, run, jump, and play again.  I wanted some kind of assurance that one day I’d regain my normalcy.  I realize I want this promise from all of my doctors.  To be told I’ll be normal again.  They can’t do it, at least not yet.

The neurologist says what I expect, “We need more testing.”  She’s very nice, even if her hands are frigid.  I want to hold her hands in mine until they warm up so the next patient won’t be so startled.  Instead I leave with prescriptions for a brain MRI and some sort of orthotic for my shoes and some other type of nerve test.  I sigh.  I was hoping to be able to live through the month of June without having to see a doctor or undergo any sort of test.  I brighten a little.  Perhaps I can get it all done before the end of May!

My feet, and my hands to a much smaller degree, are suffering from neutropenia a type of neuropathy that occurs in varying degrees to most chemotherapy patients.  I’ve known patients that have experienced it in one toe, the left thigh, an entire arm and hand, and some who’ve never had the thrill of it all.  It’s the worst side effect I’ve encountered.

Even though in the early days I had a very hard time grasping anything and my cell phone certainly took a beating, my hands have healed very well since my last infusion (Dec 2015).  I dared not carry a plate across the room if I couldn’t use both hands.  But now they just feel like tiny pins and needles at the tips of my fingers; making it hard to insert earrings or pick up something thin or delicate.  My feet are a whole other story.

I started 2016 with feet that hurt so badly there were times when I couldn’t even walk – each step was excruciating.  Then when I sat in a chair or got into bed, what felt like tiny electrical shocks would bombard my toes and insteps causing my whole leg to jump and me to yell out, “Ow!”  There were even a few nights when I was awake all night due to “the shocks” as I called them.  The shocks have largely abated and just appear now and again.  But perhaps the worst symptom was the stabbing pains. Usually coming at night, it was as if a pint-sized goblin was underneath my sheets sticking a sewing needle under the toenails of my big toes.  It was pretty rough.  I can give glory to God that the stabbing pains have long subsided.

But what drove me to the neurologist, aside from the neuropathy in my feet, is that I get dizzy when I close my eyes.  It only happens when I’m standing – so you say – well don’t close your eyes when you’re standing.  Have you ever tried to take a shower without closing your eyes?  Even when I’m out of the shower and throw a towel over my growing hair, the world starts to go wobbly.

The worst part though is church.  When I sing I’m one of those people with at least one hand up to God in praise and my eyes closed until … you guessed it … I start to teeter and have to grab at the people standing on either side of me so I won’t fall over.  I sometimes wonder if people, who don’t know me, might think I’m being slain in the Spirit.  That would be funny!

The truth is, no one can tell me how long these side effects will last or even if they’ll ever go away.  But I hold out hope that they will fade and I’ll soon regain the strength in my legs and be able to stand surely on my own two feet.

And … maybe even wear flip-flops!

Thanks for hanging in with me!