Saturday, April 21, 2012

For where two or three gather

 in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20


We are supposed to be women of joy this weekend, loving on each other and worshiping Him together at Women of Joy in Sevierville, Tennessee. Five of us, high school friends, moms to fifteen among us all, reaching out to each other again through facebook, renewing friendships. The hotel booked, the fees all paid. Things changed, our plans canceled. One still came up from south Florida, one down from north Alabama, and me here, already in the right place, believing what He said about where two or three gather... to gather around our friend and sister, Tamara, whose precious momma is very soon going Home. 


If I remember right, Mrs. Pat was diagnosed with cancer originally at the same time my dad was, November of 2005. As we celebrated Dad's life and healing at Home, we soon celebrated Mrs. Pat's healing here, as she enjoyed some cancer-free time. She has fought the good fight, including a long fight against cancer again, she has almost finished the race. Soon she will see Him face to face, she will beat cancer {once and for all}, receiving ultimate healing and all that He has promised. 


Last night, on the back porch of Tamara's parents' house, the four of us laughed a little, cried a little, prayed a lot: 

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

"For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands... therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.  For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:1, 6-8

We prayed these scriptures, asking for mercy, for peace, for new mercies every day and the strength to receive them, for ministering angels, for Jesus to do what He said He'd do:  

"In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:2-3 


See, I take that literally. He is preparing a place. He will come back and take her to be with Him. He will. So we wait, we pray, we love from here. 


We are not particularly women of Joy this weekend like we had planned, though I fully believe we will be women of joy again. I expect it. I know it will happen, because I believe Him Who says:


“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.  Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.”  Psalm 126:5-6

My friends, this I believe, and if any of you can't believe it just now, I'll believe it for you... we WILL return with songs of joy. We will. It's a promise. And our Father keeps His promises. Some He grants us here on earth, while others He grants us at Home. We will be women of joy again, and He will receive the glory.

So, to our enemy, who likely thinks he's had victory in this situation, I say two things:

"When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”" 1 Corinthians 15:54

and "Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light."

The Lord will be our Light. Love always wins.

3 comments:

tamara blair said...

Simply beautiful. Thank you. I love you, my sister in Christ!

Erika Kaplan said...

Thank you for your strength, love, compassion, prayers and on and on. I know I keep saying this, but I am so grateful for you and our renewal of friendship. I could use a little Pea Pod, the pocket squirrel and his happy little trees right now. :)

Lisa said...

As I read this, I thought of I Corinthians 1:3-4:
"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."

I know that suffering the loss of your dad has equipped you to comfort Tamara and others who go through similar losses. I'm thankful that you allow God to use you to bring comfort and encouragement to those who need it in such a powerful way.