Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mourning to Dancing!

Final thoughts about life and death and the resurrection....

So, a month or so ago, we had a visit with one of Noel Sandon's cardiologists. The comment that sticks with me the most was, "Wow! You don't look like you ever were a heart patient!" What wonderful words to hear!!! All the suffering has lead to the promise of a long and healthy life!! (In fact, you should have seen Noel's smile and how his face brightened when the doctor released him to full activity, including ironman training!) Can you imagine how thrilled Dan and I are for Noel?!

Well, the joy the wells up within us is only a shadow of the joy of Easter morning............the price had been paid, the victory won, but, in rising from the dead, Jesus gives us the hope and promise of eternal life! The joy of a long, healthy life for Noel is great.....the joy of long, forever life because of Jesus....indescribably fantastic, causing "joy, unending joy"!

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever."
(Psalm 30:11-12)

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"
(2 Corinthians 9:15)

Friday, April 18, 2014

"The Darling of Heaven Crucified"

Further musings on the suffering of Noel Sandon's surgery and the support of family in contrast to the cross:

After surgery, Dan and I were escorted up to ICU to see Noel. Wow! It was hard to see him all hooked up and with a tube in his mouth and down his throat, so that he couldn't talk at all.....

When Noel saw Dan and I walk into the room, he motioned firmly with both hands for us to get over to him quickly. Dan and I rushed to his side, said comforting words, all the while praying that this part of the suffering would be over soon.

The support of Dan and I was immediately and noticeably beneficial to Noel. He seem to gain visible strength from our presence. So much so, that the nurses cautiously allowed us to 2 by 2 bring up the rest of the family. With each visitor, Noel gained strength and momentum towards recover. After the first round, they were able to remove the tubes. The nurses were astounded...but that's what family does, rallies around their loved ones while they are suffering...

Not so with Jesus and his heavenly see, the Bible tells us that God is too pure to "look on evil" . His nature is just that good. As a result, this caused a separation between him and his creation. But he answered this problem in the person of Jesus. But, in order for it to work, he had to pay the price....

When Jesus was paying the price for all mankind: "once for all", he cried out to his Father for support: but the Father could not give it....he had to look away...he had to let the drama play out!

Can you imagine if Dan and I hadn't responded to Noel's call to his bedside?! Can you imagine the result?! Can you imagine the anguish of Jesus when his father did not respond?! 
you imagine the anguish of the Father as his son called out and he could not answer, for if he did, it would have been "all for naught"?!

This moves me to tears....and breaks my heart....and causes great and unending thankfulness......

"High and lifted up
Jesus Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified"

The Last Supper

I've been thinking a lot about Noel Sandon's heart surgery last summer.
Tonight being the night that so many in the world remember the most famous "last supper" had me thinking about the supper we had before Noel's surgery.
Despite the fact that the next day was going to be a life or death day for Noel, we all drove over to Gainsville, got settled into our hotel and then went out to eat together. We laughed and enjoyed each other, the way a family can. It seemed weird, knowing what we were facing the next day, and yet, we were there, relaxing, enjoying the time as if it was a vacation trip.
I started wondering about the last supper....only Jesus and Judas knew what the night, the next day would hold....but, I imagine it must have been much like our night before supper....hanging out with friends, relaxing, enjoying one another's company....while all the while the most profound event in history was about to happen....
The next morning, we gathered together at the hospital to pray together and ask God to intervene on Noel's and our behalf....Jesus also prayed for that, but God, in his love and wisdom, allowed events to play out.....for our behalf......