July 17, 2015 in Church News
It has been a few weeks since our last weekly update. Most of you are aware of the reason for this. I have been back and forth from Florida two times since I last sent out one of these emails. The first time my family spent a week with my mom and dad as my mom was hospitalized due to a bone marrow cancer called myelofibrosis. This past Sunday, I traveled to attend her funeral. It has been a difficult time and still seems a bit unreal to me as I type these words.
One thing that was a great source of comfort to my family (and I believe to my mother although she was unable to tell us…) was singing many of the wonderful hymns of our hymnal at her bedside. There is something awesome that happens when the comforting gospel message of the Scriptures is connected with music that speaks to the soul and touches the heart unlike anything else. It is one thing to read the words of Job 19, but entirely another to sing with joy, “I know that my Redeemer lives. What comfort this sweet sentence gives…” We know it is true when the prophet Isaiah writes: “The grass withers and flowers fall, but the Word of our God endures forever.” But that truth is driven home in such a meaningful way as we sing: “Change and decay in all around I see. Oh, thou who changest not, abide with me.”
I know in the months to come, as we sing many of these same hymns in church, I will be fighting back more than a few tears. These are not tears of sadness. They are tears of joy. I thank God that the words of these hymns are true. I thank God that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, knew my mother’s need and well provided for her. I thank God that her hope was found in Christ alone. I thank God that she knew what a friend she had in Jesus and could take everything to her Lord in prayer. I thank God that her precious Lord took her by the hand and led her home.
I also thank God for the gift of music, which takes these truths and lets them soar the way they should so that spirits are uplifted and hearts are healed. I look forward to worshiping and singing together with you soon.