Saturday, June 30, 2007

"Weeping May Endure For a Night"

Or I guess in this case, it has been 108 nights, or ten more recently intensified nights. It feels a little strange to have so much grief and anxiety over people you don't know that well. As I have said before, I really don't know the Allens very well. They live a few doors down from us, but we have not even lived here a year. And I was real MIA as far as the neighborhood goes after Elspeth was born for a long time. So it seems strange that I would be so overwhelmed by Amelia's condition. But at the same time, it seems like it would be strange not to be. Of course we are overwhelmed. Of course we have wept for this family and this baby. Of course we are desperate for healing for her. Y'all please keep praying. She has been having seizures over the past few days. You may all be checking her blog every day, but just in case you haven't had the chance or have just gotten used to "pray for Amelia" up there on top, I wanted to reiterate how serious her situation is. It seems her condition is not getting a whole lot worse, but it is not improving either. I check the blog often with fear of bad news and always breathe a sigh of relief when there is no worse news to report. But I find myself wearier and wearier of the sameness of her condition. Jen described a couple of days ago all the many tubes and machines Amelia is hooked up to. I just can't imagine. And I can't imagine what she and Steve feel like when I am sitting at home just reading about it with tears streaming down my face, just as I know you are. So I tried to find us all a comforting Psalm tonight. I am sure Steve and Jen have heard a kazillion scriptures during all of this. I wonder if any of it is helpful or if everything is a blur to them as I am sure they have been feeling they couldn't take it anymore many times over. I find myself so much wishing there was a Scripture for them to find comfort in. But I have no idea what it would be. I am hoping they have people surrounding them who know and trust the Psalms and the promises of God better than I do. But I looked tonight and am even comforted by basic things like "who heals all your diseases" and "they called upon the Lord and he answered them" and "surely He shall deliver you." Psalm 104 talks about God's sovereignty and power. That was encouraging to see it in print- okay, we didn't make this up; he really is in charge! There are also so many cries for help. Again and again, His people are in deep trouble. But again and again there are pages and pages about how God is merciful and good. But those two themes seem somewhat disconnected. In the troubled Psalms, I wish we kind of heard the end of the story. A lot of them end in "Do not delay, O my God." What a cliffhanger! Did the goodness of God prevail again? It's like watching Lost! We need some answers! What is encouraging is that again and again we see "wait on the Lord" and all kids of references to "His timing" or "the proper time" so we can trust that God may seem like he's delaying, but he is not asleep (it says that a lot too!). Then in another place, we'll run into a Psalm with some sort of allusion to a past trial and deliverance that's all about God's goodness. Was that the same guy or what? (Incidentally, this is all very humbling as I went to K-12 Christian school, always had regular quiet times, and was an RUF intern. I was a pretty good little Pharisee. I thought I knew so much! But I have to say that as life has become more "real," I find myself very ill equipped and lacking in understanding.) I mean, I guess besides the case by case (or Psalm by Psalm) we can just pull a general case for God's timing and his power to heal and his goodness from the entire book. Of course, we know that. I just sort of want this one "in a nutshell" passage. Something to post, something to memorize so that I can say "it says right here." The one I decided to post in the end was Psalms 30. It is sort of what we can hope for for this littlest of God's lambs.

A note about the translation- I know we are supposed to have switched to the ESV like good Presbyterians, but NIV is what I had had in high school and it is what was familiar to me until everyone started getting The New Geneva Study Bible in RUF. I have a split familiarity between the two translations because of high school to college, and also because I had a NKJV (which the New Geneva is) Precious Moments Bible growing up. Then all of the sudden, was it in 2001?, the English Standard Version started showing up in all the church pews! Just when I had gotten real comfy with my New King James Version! So I am resistant to the idea of going back and re-memorizing (again) all the passages that have stayed with me over time, both because of sentimentality and laziness. You probably are somewhat familiar with this passage too though I am not sure what translation you all might be partial to. Here it is in the NKJV (my Bible's notes explain that the italics "indicate expressions in the original language which require clarification by additional English words, as also done throughout the history of the King James Bible"). You can click here to go to Bible Gateway for a different translation. My apologies to all good Presbyterians.

Psalm 30

1 I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
2 O LORD my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me.
3 O LORD, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

4 Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
5 For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.

6 Now in my prosperity I said,
“I shall never be moved.”
7 LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong;
You hid Your face, and I was troubled.

8 I cried out to You, O LORD;
And to the LORD I made supplication:
9 “What profit is there in my blood,
When I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You?
Will it declare Your truth?
10 Hear, O LORD, and have mercy on me;
LORD, be my helper!”

11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
12 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.


courtney said...

At church this morning, one of the worship songs was specifically about crying out to the Lord, Him hearing our cry and saving us. And I don't know Amelia or her parents, but, God knows them so well and specifically put their names on my heart. I cried as I prayed for her today as God promised that He is the ultimate Healer and Savior. So, thanks for letting us be able to pray for them and be a part of what "amazingness" God will do through this.

Jessie said...

Amen, Abby. I don't know what else to say that you haven't. We are weeping and praying, too.

the good, the bad & the ugly said...

I love the verse. We clung to it when we miscarried and I felt like God really spoke to me and gave me a peace that I really would get pregnant again and have a daughter. That's why Lydia Joy has the "joy" in her name. Weeping may come for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Praying for Amelia tonight.

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