Encouragement When Down

Written by Lynn Bruce (Daughter of Elder Sony Pyles): 6-11-2018

Chemo #50 today. This one is shelling my pistachios, because it’s preventing me from spending a week at camp singing hymns with my best beloveds. I have not missed camp in almost 20 years. It’s Christmas in June to me, a little glimmer of heaven on earth. And now my grandbairns are there! I want to whine that it’s just not fair. I awoke this morning at precisely the moment the wake-up hymn is broadcast at camp. The soul knows where it wants to be. But the body needs to be in the chemo chair—fair or not.

Here’s the thing. If I get hung up on things being fair, if I make my happiness depend on that, I’ll stay stuck at the bottom of every hill. The Psalmist knew this. “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.” 🎯“When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me… Until I went into the sanctuary of God…”

Oh my.
I do know this to be true.

True of the actual sanctuary and true of this sanctuary in the rubbled temple that is my body. Where somehow both cancer and Christ dwell together. Where there should be singing!

“But I don’t have a song here today, Lord,” I cried as I parked my car at the chemo lab. “My song is elsewhere, without me.”

And then I heard them. He let me hear them. From the vaults of long memory, I heard the voices of my camp friends, singing for me: “Thus far the Lord has led me on, thus far His power prolongs my days, and every evening shall make known some fresh memorial of His grace. In vain, the sons of earth or hell tell me a thousand frightful things; my God in safety makes me dwell beneath the shadow of His wings.”

Here in the shadow of that wing, I do not have to climb up this hill. I will be carried. And I will be given a song. This too, is not fair. It is far beyond fair. But I realize now that it is not my LIFE that He means to call fair. It is ME. Because when He comes, He will be singing “Rise up, my fair one.” He is fair, so shall we be. Sing on, fair ones.

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Pastor: Bethany Primitive Baptist Church
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