Friday evenings Matt and I attend a home group. Currently, we are watching a marriage seminar, called “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage,” that is different than any else we’ve seen on marriages. This pastor, Mark Gungor, is HILLARIOUS. I can’t say that I agree wholeheartedly with everything he says but than I don’t really agree wholeheartedly with anyone except Jesus so that is beside the point. None the less he is seriously funny. I always think it is great when Christians can speak up and shed the light of Jesus into areas of darkness. Mr. Gungor does a great job of that.
Last night we went to home group feeling beat. Both of us were tired, hadn’t eaten and had splitting headaches. Neither one of us was in a very good mood, as I’m sure you can imagine. But I’m so thankful we didn’t allow our circumstances to keep us from going because what took place was extremely power and gave us some renewed perspective.
The couple that lead our home group are amazing people with rock solid faith. In the face of circumstances that could cause them to doubt and wonder they choose to stand firm on the Word of God, do battle with the enemy and trust God. She has an inoperable brain tumor that causes her to have seizures. Last night, with out warning, she suddenly couldn’t stand up anymore. Thankfully, her husband was right there and immediately recognized that she was having a seizure. She takes anti-seizure medication which keeps her body from convulsing but the episode was no less alarming. It was almost as if the life was zapped from her body for what seemed like for ever. We all prayed as we waited for her to literally “come back to life.” Slowly, she began to open her eyes and try to speak but the words couldn’t make it from her brain to her lips. Her vision was disrupted so much that she could only see one side of her husband’s face. With a tremendous amount of effort she finally uttered the word Bible. She struggled to tell us what she wanted read, and she couldn’t really see the words on the page but somehow she found her way to Psalm 18 and had her husband read it out loud. As he read these words, this amazing woman of faith raised her hands to the Lord and praised Him.
1 I love you, LORD, my strength.
3 I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
7 The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
9 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.
12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
13 The LORD thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.[d]
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, LORD,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
Words cannot express how powerful it was. I couldn’t help but reflect on my own life, my own struggles and circumstance, which seem to pale in comparison, and I realized that I spend too much time wondering why things are the way they are and not nearly enough time praising my Savior. This life is hard. There are terrible things like brain tumors, unemployment, broken marriages, rebellious kids, foreclosures, cancer, death and destruction that, if we allow, will zap the life out of us much like this seizure did.
I want to be a person who responds with unwavering faith. Someone who even in the bleakest of situations can find my way to a Bible, hear the Truth, raise my hands and praise God. I’m thankful for the reminder, this precious woman gave me, that God is good – no matter what.