Praising in the Storms

I was visiting with a long time friend one day over coffee.  Actually, I was a enjoying a big soy latte as she sipped on water.  She could barely stomach the water, as she was several weeks into her chemo treatments.  She was and still is battling ovarian cancer.  What an inspiration she’s been to me and so many others.  She said something rather simple but profound that day that I thought was worth sharing.  She said,  “Rivera, I’ve learned that cancer affects and changes a lot of things, but the one thing it can’t change is the cross of Christ.”  I loved that and will probably never forget it.  Everything around us, our jobs, our health,  just day to day life in general can be completey turned upside down.  But nothing can change the fact that Jesus died for us.  And, absolutely NOTHING can separate us from His love.   THAT is a marvelous thought!

Many of us at the Cove Church, Mooresville NC,  where I attend regularly,  just lost a dear friend to a battle with cancer.  Clark Rogers, although only an acquaintance to me, was a Jesus loving man who left a tremendous Christ like legacy.  His life had such a positive impact on every life that crossed his path.  He will be greatly missed by many.  A benefit concert of praise and worship music was given this past Friday night to honor Clark and raise money for the debt they’ve incurred through this difficult time.  When asked what he would like to say to everyone if he could be there, his answer was simple.  He said, “I would tell them Jesus is bigger than cancer.”    Clark passed from this life to a new life in heaven yesterday.  I wrote on my Facebook status,  “I believe Clark would’ve echoed Paul in saying, ‘For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:20-22) What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.’  Philippians 3:7-9  What gain! Clark is sitting at the feet of Jesus. Let us praise God.”  

Another friend just lost her dearly loved brother in law in Arizona last week just hours after he accepted Christ into his heart.   Cancer is this horrible and devestating disease.  But, God has all power to heal if He so chooses.  The fact is, His timing is perfect.  He doesn’t take us home to be with Him until we have finished all that He has planned for us to accomplish, not one minute too soon or too late.  We as Christ followers are passing from glory to glory here in this life and becoming more and more like Christ along the way.  “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  2Cor. 3:18  It’s exciting to know that we, like Clark and so many others, will some day sit at the feet of Jesus just soaking it in.  Like Mary, we will be so utterly consumed by Him and His presence that all we’ll be able to do is fall to our knees in worship.  Meanwhile, let’s live as “reflections of  His glory” and praise Him along the way, even in the storms.

5 thoughts on “Praising in the Storms

  1. riveradouthit says:

    Donna, no I wasn’t aware that “Praise You in this Storm” was Lisa’s song during this storm in her life. It’s not surprising though. It’s a powerful song.

    Marion, thank you. I’m so glad and humbled that something God put on my heart to write was somehow useful in your life. That’s awesome, but THAT’s also our God!

    Deanna, I would really like to keep you around here a little longer, so you better stop praying for that:)

    Joann, I agree with you totally. I think you are one of those people who presents that challenge:)

  2. Donna Smith says:

    I am not sure that you know this but the song “Praise You in this Storm” is a song that Lisa Rogers held on to while going through her storm. This song came up over and over at different times during the past few weeks. How wonderful is the love and mercy of Christ! No matter whether sunshine or storms that we can praise Him!

  3. HammerHead Karr says:

    Once again this morning I found myself struggling to praise Him in the storm I am in financially and was definitely feeling sorry for myself. Even though we as a church just witness a loss that was far worse than anything financial could ever be I was basically me me me-ing it. Uggh. Thank you for this blog. Jesus is BIGGER than Cancer, the Cross is unchanging and unwavering, and HE is the rock for us to cling no matter what we are going through, what storm is around us, or where we see ourselves at any moment. Thank you for sharing this and also posting a reminder on FB so I would come over here and read it today…Today of all days. You thank me for encouraging you at church…I think you for encouraging us all with God’s love.

  4. JoAnn says:

    I’m learning slowly but surely that I can only praise Him in the storms of life when He is my all in all. He is my all in all when I’ve allowed him to fill me and satisfy me first!! Praise be to God who blesses us with people who challenge us to live in a way that reflects His Glory more than the day before 🙂

  5. Deanna says:

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed for God to just finish his work in me. I only hope that if I am stricken like Clark was, I will have the same attitude he did. I hope that I can make something negative so positive and use it to God’s glory to bring others to Him.

    I love you, Rivera.

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