Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rejoice! by Linden Malki

O my soul, bless God.
From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,don’t forget a single blessing!
He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence. (Psalm 103:1-5 The Message)

One of the most beautiful parts of the Christmas season is the music. We find in the Christmas Scripture passages Mary and Zachariah responding to what God has done with overwhelming praise. We find angels filling the sky with praise. Much of the greatest music ever written is a response to what we celebrate at Christmas--and at all times.

Last week Elden Smith and I had the honor of sharing praise in song at the celebration of the life of my sister-in-law, who has  experienced her final and eternal healing. She had had major trials in her life;  difficult family situations, a disabled child, major health challenges. But the thing people remember about her is her joyful attitude.  Her big brother John, my late husband, always marveled that she always had a big smile and a laughing heart, even as she coped with pain and difficulties. She lived in a mountain community in Lebanon for some years at a time when her brother Elias was a missionary in Beirut, and would make a difficult trip down to the city, with three small children, to his church every Sunday and was known for her constant attitude of praise. She came back to the US to find help for her developmentally disabled son, prayed for him constantly and fought for appropriate therapy. He died at the age of 14, and I recall telling her at the time that yes, he was now  healed, released from his physical disabilities and whole, in the  presence of God.  We do not always see physical healing on this earth, but all of our diseases or disabilities are left behind.  She herself will be much missed at family events, but we know that she, too, is no longer subject tor the physical limitations of her last 20 years and is rejoicing eternally.

Scripture says that the heavens and earth declare the handiwork of God. Looking around, we see that God has created beginnings which  He then grows into endings. He creates seeds, and babies, and eggs, and caterpillars. What we see around us every day is works in progress; He's not through with any of us on this earth. What we become when the cocoon bursts depends on whether we are willing to become His butterflies.

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