Thursday, February 26, 2009

Recovering from Ashes

This week I have been very sad because of several tragedies happening all around me. Our friends Kyle and Katie lost their two year old Hailey who had a similar disorder to Regan. She died in the night last Friday. I am so sad for her loss. Some other tragedies are sin related so I can not speak about them here...but they grieve my soul. My brother lost his job this week. My dad had surgery. Some of my issures are in preparation for the Lent season that we have now entered into. It is painful because I know God created us to have different earthy experiences. These tragedies each represent a loss of some kind.

This week in the Divine Hours the prayer for the week says this..."Most loving Father, whose will it is for us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing but the loss of you, and to cast all our cares on you who cares for us: Preserve me from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from me the light of that love which is immortal, and which you have manifested to us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord..."

So in God's great care for me He has given me words to say that are true. Because no words come to me in times like this. This is why I love these books of prayer. He has given me a reminder that though these things that burden me are losses (some greater and more painful than others) still yet I should fear none except the loss of HIM!

So I mentioned have been preparing for Lent. I wasn't sure I was going to give anything up because I feel like I have been in a season of "giving up" and really didn't know what to give up. But I was open. Yesterday standing in the Ash Wednesday service that I attended I was reminded that Lent is for everyone, for the old, the young, the newlywed, the children, and so I thought even those who have been in a season of "giving up." YES..even ME...the one who have given up! So I was committed to lenting. I need to be reminded of how sinful I am. Of just how much I need Jesus' resurecting power in my life. I feel at peace with what I am lenting...I look forward to Easter when I can have it back my sweet desserts. But my prayer will be "no loss like the loss of you, God" and probably also "All my delight is in you LORD! not in dessert!"

I also had this thought as the ashes were crossed on my forehead and these words were repeated "From dust you came and dust you will return." You see a body I love very much is returning to dust as I speak.....I don't like it very much. This is one of thoese "wordly anxieties" that I am confessing is clouding God's glory. Now granted, this loss is great in my life. It causes me great suffering. Yet these ashes remind me that a greater loss would be returning to dust myself without a knowing the one who mae me and without knowing His voice in my life. This loss would be greater...honestly at times I forget this truth. I think Kyle and Katie's loss is greater....I think divorce is greater, I think so many stupid things that I am embarassed to write are greater losses than that of the LOSS OF GOD; His presence in our lives.

"If the Lord had not been on our side-let Isreal say-If the Lord had not been on our side when men attacked us, they would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger against us. Then the waters whould have engulfed us; the torrent would have swept over us; the raging waters would have swept over us." Ps 124 1:1-5

You see though I am giving up I am not being swallowed, or engulfed, or swept away in the raging waters of pain, grief, saddness, or pain because He is at my side, forevermore. He is at the side of my family. Most importantly He is also at the side of the Father reminding Him that I am forgiven, that sometimes I don't know what I am doing, that I desire more of God even when I don't act like it. Praise God for a time of repentance....."to fear nothing but the loss of YOU!"


Mandy said...

These are good words...

Thanks friend.
Love you.

Deanne said...

thank you

Stefanni said...

Chantell, I have been reading your blog for some time now. What you write, directly from your heart, touches my heart and helps me see Jesus more clearly. You have walked through a fire that many of us have not gone through yet--the loss of a precious child. Yet you turn your heart toward God and praise Him so beautifully. Perhaps you can't see this happening right now, but I think your posts are wonderful devotional thoughts that would bless so many if they were published someday. Thank you for sharing with all of us. Love, Stefanni Lynch

Melissa said...

Beth Moore encouraged those of us doing the Daniel study to give up rich meats for half of the study. I knew that giving up protein wasn't something I could physically do, so I gave up desserts. So half of the study was this past Feb 28. Michael and I shared a dessert (cheesecake and Mt. Vesuvius) at the Sweetheart Banquet and guess what? I went to bed w/ a headache. Wasn't too happy about that. I was reminded of something else Beth said, "Yes, it is permissable, but is it beneficial?" A headache is never worth it for me! So with all this rambling, I want to encourage you by saying - Yes, Chantell, you can do it. I am actually going to remove desserts from my diet until the study is finished in May.
Melissa Miller