Sunday, December 22, 2013
My friend and fellow word lover, Bob LaCosta asked for a blog post as an update to the powerful storm that hit us as a family 4 years ago. You can catch it and more of his authentic, insightful writing at http://belovedblogger.com/ I’m sharing it here too, at Christmastime… when we wait in great hope for the only answer to the disasters and heartaches of a fallen world. Jesus Christ…who makes the crooked straight, and the rough places plain.
Often I've wished I could write the “perfect” testimony for the ongoing trial, all wrapped up with a bow, neat and clean, hallmark beautiful. Something to say I understand all that God was and is doing in the mess…
It ain't that way.
On November 8, 2009 a hurricane hit our family in the form of a drunk driver on the wrong side of the road. It took 3 days to charge the offender, as police waited to see if my husband would die from the catastrophic injuries he sustained. My then 14 year old daughter was forever changed by the bleeding on her brain, referred to in the vernacular as a traumatic brain injury. In a single moment the words of the Holy One took on flesh and bone: “They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support.” Psalm 18:18
It would be impossible to adequately describe the road we have taken lo these past 4 years. Loving God certainly does not exempt any of us from the pain and trouble of “this present darkness”. The word of God promises trials, separations and sufferings. But as the great hymn says, “He giveth more grace…”
Folks have wondered if I’ve asked the cosmic question…WHY? Why did God allow a drunk man to senselessly careen into my beautiful daughter’s head, making her life harder than we ever could have imagined? Why must Stephen continue to suffer the ripple effect of the world gone mad, with continued pain and surgeries? Why would a God who loves us so, with the power to stop it all, take off the brakes of His permissive will and allow such a violent event in the lives of His own?
I don’t know.
But Joni Earikson Tada, rendered a quadriplegic in a diving accident at the age of 16, has helped me tremendously with her attitude, and I paraphrase:
“ I long ago stopped asking why. The question now is always HOW? How do I continue to love God in the midst of my own brokenness, and the mess of a fallen world? How do I cheerfully and robustly love my fellow man on days I can’t go on. How do I keep from becoming bitter, selfish and sorry for myself?”
And always the answer to these questions is found in the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit, who cheers the troubled heart and gives power in great weakness. I can’t explain the mystery of grace. I can only attest to the truth that He holds on relentlessly in the worst of circumstances. And remarkably, there can even be joy…
The magnificent grace of Jesus Christ proves itself in the storms. God did not spare His own Son from the impact of the fall. In fact, He laid the whole shooting match squarely on shoulders of the Perfect One, born in obscurity, killed in violence, raised in glory. He stepped into the mystery with us. And He stays there, all the days of our lives.
My daughter is still struggling, but attends the
, studying her beloved English,
Shakespeare, Latin and Poetry. There is multiplied
grace. One day she will be restored to
the One who has never left her. University of Buffalo
Stephen returned to work from his wheelchair a few months after the accident, and never went on disability. He goes to the gym for an hour every morning, and works hard these 4 years later to care for his family. There is gracious provision.
My boys have been forever shaped by both the sorrow of the fallout and the powerful example of the love and beauty of the church, they who displayed relentless love…and were the hands and feet of Christ.
Whatever wind blows, friends, fear not. The anchor holds. You cannot plan for the day of trouble. But you can trust in the Great One, who will take you through the messy business of life.
There will one day be a testimony all wrapped up in a bow. Likely not til heaven. Then the winds will calm forever.
Merry Christmas, no matter what!
Your friend on the pilgrim road,