Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’


I still remember clearly. Particularly vivid are those moments before even the OB office’s technologist realized there was a problem.  As she continued to move the probe looking for a heart beat I watched the realization dawn on her face.  I looked to my beautiful bride my heart aching, knowing it would be only moments before the joy of motherhood would be replaced with the pain of loss.  What was supposed to be, was not.  There had been miscarriages before, but this was different.  We had seen him, watched him move.  She had been sick for 3 months.  This was all supposed to end with a baby in our arms.  The grief and anger was a dull roar in my ears.  As the tech put down the probe and said, “I am going to get the doctor”, Allana looked at me and saw the tears welling in my eyes and her world crashed down.

Twelve years later, 7 more losses, a move into full-time ministry, a miraculous birth and walk through cancer, and I still remember those moments.  I remember the silent heartbeat.  2000ish years ago a group of men scattered through Jerusalem.  What was supposed to be, was not.  A few stayed close, one failing (as foretold by Jesus) in his grief and despair as he realized the likely outcome of events.  Another clung to caring for a shattered mother, bringing her to the base of the cross to bid farewell to her son.  I can imagine the dull roar of grief and anger echoing in their ears.  The end of the messiah, was not as it should be.  The heartbeat of the savior of the world was silent.

The days that followed the shattering moment, the silent heartbeat, are taken up with the business of death.  Preparation for burial and burial.  The well-meaning words of friends and family, some kind some judgmental.  The Monday morning quarterbacks try to parse what went wrong.  We cloister ourselves, not wanting to be pointed out as that couple, not wanting to be pointed out as the followers of that man.  Even now the silent heartbeat is loud in our ears.

Then everything changes.

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” 18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.  John 20:11-18

Here is where our stories converge.  The truth of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ brought a new ending both to those shattered followers 2000 hears ago and to grieving parents just 12 years ago.  The reality of a living savior and the guidance of the Holy Spirit set a group of men and women on a path to what was always to be as defined by an omniscient, almighty God.  The same savior, the same Spirit and the same God brought truth and light to the silent heartbeat for Allana and I, setting us on a path to healing and to service.  The way continued to be full of pitfalls, disappointments and most importantly maturing faith. The silent heartbeat will be with us forever, however now even in the remembered grief and pain it is a sound full of hope and promise.

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“Now may the God who gives Perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus”

 Romans 15:5

I have been thinking a lot about perseverance lately.  I had the privilege of being a guest of YESFM and Tommy Briggs to share a week of devotionals called The Morning Munch.  This word perseverance kept rolling through my mind as I looked to prepare for this time of sharing.  After this year of walking with Allana through the treatment protocols for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia it seemed like an appropriate topic.  After all the keynote verses about perseverance that we all know are found in Romans 5.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.  And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)

Unfortunately it seems that too often an exploration of perseverance stops with this idea of suffering and that they are forever linked as cause and effect.  This important quality of Life in Christ deserves a closer look.  The Bible has a lot to say about perseverance.  The word most often translated as perseverance, endurance or steadfastness is the Greek word Hupomone.  As with so many Greek words (and English too I might add) it is a combination of two roots, Upo and Meno.

UPO- about, under

MENO- abide, remain, stay, continue to be, survive, held or kept continually

Breaking it down and putting it back together again brings us to this idea of remaining under or about something.  Often it seems that this idea is taken to mean remaining under the problems and trials that life brings.  When asked about a trial going on in one’s life “We are persevering!” seems the easy answer.  We may not use that word anymore but when we distill down all the answers we give and all the advice that is coming in it comes down to abiding under the trial until its end.  The problem with this view of perseverance is that it is focused on the trial, the trouble, the problem, not on our amazing God who is the ultimate solution.  Hupomone  is not about “super-moaning” through life as we bounce from trial to trial.  Biblical perseverance encompasses Romans 8:37 “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through him who loved us.”

The source of perseverance tells us a lot about it’s characteristics.  Our title verse makes it clear where perseverance come’s from.

Now may the God who gives perseverance…”

Biblical perseverance is first and foremost a gift from God.  This is one of those gifts that Jesus was talking about in Matthew 7:11

“If you then being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him.”


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