Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hope for the Hopeless

Three & a half years ago, I had my first appointment w/ Dr. Nagen Bellare. Dr. Bellare is an awesome oncologist here in Hattiesburg. I've known him for a number of years & never planned on seeing him professionally...alas... Neither he, nor Lisa, nor I knew that this was the first of many oncology appointments here and in Houston. Anyway, at that first appointment, Dr. Bellare said he wanted to share some Scripture with me as he does with all of his patients. This is what he shared.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1b - 3a

I clung to those verses then. I have clung to them many times since then. I have clung to them almost daily this past year & a half, first through the fear & uncertainty of wondering and a bunch of tests & procedures, then through the desperate fear & uncertainty of knowing a diagnosis with its accompanying surgeries & immunotherapies & such. I clung to them when a great friend entered eternity last summer due to complications from his battle with leukemia.

I have also clung again in celebration, especially in my most recent visit w/ Dr. Mehran. (one more time: "there is no need to operate, Mr. Madaris. I'm cancelling your surgery. Go home & enjoy your summer..." I doubt I'll ever get tired of replaying that in my mind...*smile*)

Two songs recently showed up on my Pandora web radio station recently, both of which sort of reminded me of God's faithfulness. Freshen up your coffee & read these lyrics slowly...

Valley Song - Jars Of Clay
You have led me to the sadness
I have carried this pain
On a back bruised, nearly broken
I'm crying out to you

(Chorus) I will sing of Your mercy
That leads me through valleys of sorrow
To rivers of joy

When death like a Gypsy
Comes to steal what I love
I will still look to the heavens
I will still seek your face
But I fear you aren't listening
Because there are no words
Just the stillness and the hunger
For a faith that assures

Chorus x2

Alleluia, alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia
While we wait for rescue
With our eyes tightly shut
Face to the ground using our hands
To cover the fatal cut
And though the pain is an ocean
Tossing us around, around, around
You have calmed greater waters
Higher mountains have come down

Alleluia, alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia alleluia, alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia alleluia, alleluia

Chorus (4 Xs)

Oh, Lord sing of Your mercy,
Mercy Your mercy

Cry Out to Jesus - Third Day
To everyone who's lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on
They lost all of their faith and love
They've done all they can to make it right again
Still it's not enough

For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you're not alone in your shame
And your suffering

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

When you're lonely (when you're lonely)
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

(back to bb) Note that neither of the Scriptures and neither of the songs promise a particular outcome. In my case, Dr. Bellare didn't either (he emphasized that he could not guarantee an outcome). But the passages from Isaiah, like the two songs, promise something better than a particular situational outcome; they promise the presence of my Lord! That's all anyone can promise. And really...ultimately...that's all any of us need, though it's hard to see that in the dark of the valley.

Let me wind this up by asking you to please continue to pray for my friend Stephanie Weathers and her three children. That dreadful anniversary of the terrible outcome to their medical situation is looming in just a few short weeks--the first anniversary of Jason's entering glory. If you want to know what it looks like to magnify the name of our Lord in the midst of crushing grief...if you want to know the awful reality of losing a husband at 33 & being left with three young children...and if you want to have your socks blessed off by a remarkable lady whose life & words are an amazing testimony to the "hope for the hopeless" Third Day sings about, check out Steph's blog. These most recent two entries are incredible.

Go to and prepare to be blessed.

Hoping I always cry out to Jesus, and OH-so-thankful for His presence,

p.s. - wanna hear those two songs? Both are great both musically and lyrically. Here you go:
Valley Song
Cry Out to Jesus

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. The songs and scripture passages could not be more true. Our Lord walks thru EVERYTHING...good or bad...with us. For our own benfit he desires for us to acknowledge our need for Him by crying out in the dark places when no one else can fill the pain or the loneliness or the grief. Jesus alone is ALL IN ALL and WORTHY of our praise and adoration and our trust.
Thank you my brother.