Never Once


UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

Recently, as I listened to Matt Redman‘s Never Once, the Lord reminded me of several situations I have gone through over the last few years.  In particular, He reminded me of his faithfulness to “‘never leave [me] nor forsake [me].’  So [I] can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my Helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'” (Hebrews 13:5c-6, ESV).

I will never forget the first time I cared for a terminal patient as she began the dying process.  She was from Eastern Europe, only spoke her native language, understood very little English, and had no one at the bedside to translate for her.  By the time I came on shift, she had already lapsed into a coma.  I spent most of the evening in her room talking to her because I hold the strong conviction that no one should die alone and without someone holding their hand telling them how precious they are in God’s sight.  Whenever I care for an actively dying patient who has no one at the bedside, I always ensure that either myself, another nurse, or a tech/unit secretary is in the room talking to the patient and holding their hand.

At one point during the night, I started singing various hymns.  She never responded to anything I did or said… until I began singing Abide With Me by Francis Henry Lyte (1793-1847).  The woman who hadn’t responded to anything I had done or said–even painful stimuli–and was very clearly near death opened her eyes, looked me straight in the eye, and feebly began singing along with me in her own language before lapsing back into a coma.

My Hope is in You


UNDER CONSTRUCTION

God has powerfully used music in my life.  Even as I developed in my mother’s womb, my parents made sure that the music they listened to brought glory to God because they knew that God could use it to influence my life later on.  I went to my first concert at the age of eight months old.  My parents tell me that anyone could tell that I loved every moment of listening to Michael Card as he performed to God’s glory; to this day, his music remains among my most favored.  I love music and have sung in a church choir every year since the age of three years old.  Music is a wonderful asset in hiding the Word of God in your heart.  I cannot even recall how many times God has brought me comfort or shown me how to comfort someone else by bringing a hymn, an anthem, or a song to my memory.  In my last post, I mentioned God’s use of the anthem My Shepherd Will Supply My Need to remind me of His Presence in my life even when I felt abandoned and alone.

More recently, God reminded me of His loving Presence after a particularly difficult day at work.  I left work feeling completely defeated after a day filled with demeaning verbal abuse from a visitor.  This combined with the already overwhelming feelings, frustrations, and fears brought on by the trial I mentioned in my previous post left me feeling utterly defeated and hopeless.  As I drove home, Aaron Shust‘s recording of the song My Hope Is In You came on the radio.  I found my self crying for the third time that day; only this time, my emotions revealed the healing that God can bring through the sound of His Word set to music.

 “I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come?

My help comes from the LORD,

Who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;

He Who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, He Who keeps Isreal

will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your Keeper;

the Lord is your Shade on your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day,

nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil;

He will keep your life.

The LORD will keep

your going out and your coming in

from this time forth and forevermore.”

~ Psalm 121 (ESV)

 

“Lead me in Your Truth and teach me,

for You are the God of my salvation;

for You I wait all the day long.”

~ Psalm 25:5 (ESV)

My Hope Is In You
I meet with You and my soul sings out
As your word throws doubt far away.
I sing to You and my heart cries,
“Holy!  Hallelujah, Father, You’re near!”

My hope is in You, Lord.
All the day long, I won’t be shaken by drought or storm.
A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing, “My hope is in You, Lord.”

I wait for You and my soul finds rest.
In my selfishness, You show me grace.
I worship You and my heart cries,

“Glory!  Hallelujah, Father You’re here!”

My hope is in You, Lord.
All the day long, I won’t be shaken by drought or storm.
A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing, “My hope is in You, Lord.”

I will wait on You.
You are my refuge.
I will wait on You.
You are my refuge.

My hope is in You, Lord.
All the day long, I won’t be shaken by drought or storm.
My hope is in You, Lord.
All the day long, I won’t be shaken by drought or storm.
A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing, “My hope is in You, Lord.
My hope is in You, Lord.
Yeah, my hope is in You, Lord.”

~ April Geesbreght 2010

Arr. Aaron Shust 2011

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need


UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

I went to Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia two weeks ago to visit my brother Matthew for his birthday.  While I was there, Matthew reminded me of several anniversaries of major events in our family’s life that would occur during the coming two weeks.  He mentioned in particular the beginning of one of our family’s many medical trials that started in October 2006.  After learning some difficult news, we sent out a mass email detailing everything to our friends and family so they would know how to pray for us.  The children and youth choral director at our church responded to the email by sending us a copy of the order of worship for that coming Sunday.  In her message, she said something to the point of “this was orchestrated by God for you…”  I remember reading through the program and fighting back the tears as I felt God’s love unfold around me.  When my mom told us the doctor’s news, I later went to my room and poured out my sorrow and fear to God and asked Him, “Why?  What is Your purpose in this?”  Mrs. Fray was right; God answered that prayer through that very service (October 22, 2006 PCPC Order for the Worship of God).

Through the intervening years with all its ups and downs, trials and triumphs, I have seen the evidence of God’s faithfulness.  Not once has He ever dropped me, left a promise unfulfilled, deserted me, or left me without hope.

By God’s design, my choir sang “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need” as the musical offering on October 22, 2006.  This particular anthem has always been a favorite of mine, but it took on a special meaning that morning.

“My Shepherd will supply my need:
Jehovah is His Name;
In pastures fresh He makes me feed,
Beside the living stream.
He brings my wandering spirit back
When I forsake His ways,
And leads me, for His mercy’s sake,
In paths of truth and grace.”

“When I walk through the shades of death,
Thy presence is my stay;
A word of Thy supporting breath
Drives all my fears away.
Thy hand, in sight of all my foes,
Doth still my table spread;
My cup with blessings overflows,
Thine oil anoints my head.”

“The sure provisions of my God
Attend me all my days;
O may Thy house be my abode,
And all my work be praise!
There would I find a settled rest,
While others go and come;
No more a stranger, nor a guest,
But like a child at home.”

~ Sir Isaac Watts

It never ceases to amaze me how God’s mind works and how He moves to remind us of His promises and faithfulness.  A week after Matthew reminded me of this anniversary, our family entered another phase of that same trial.  God, in His omniscience, knew I would need that gentle reminder that “[His] grace is sufficient for [me], for [His] power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9a, ESV).”  His preparation of my heart, mind, and soul has given me the strength to “boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me… (2 Corinthians 12:9b, ESV).  His grace enables me to find contentment in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities (2 Corinthians 12:10a, ESV).  Though I may fear what the future holds medically, I know that God understands and will conquer my fears and enable me to continue running with endurance the race set before me while looking to Jesus, the founder and perfector of my faith (Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV).  For He has shown me that when I am weak, then I am strong.