Since Friday, the reoccurring theme in the testimonies people have given, songs people have sung, messages the preachers have preached, and conversations I have had the privilege to be a part of has been the goodness of God. And what a wonderful theme to have! Because truly, God is so good and so merciful; He’s so faithful and true; He’s so trustworthy and gracious; loving, forgiving, understanding; He’s just, and righteous, and perfect; He’s holy, omnipotent, omnipresent, and ever-with-us. What a wonderful Savior we have!

My friend Jessica sent me an e-mail last week in response to one of my medical update blog posts, and it encouraged me so much. I wanted to share a portion of her e-mail with you.

I realized that when I became a Christian I was to be made conformable to His sufferings. We have a horrible misconception as Christians that once we get saved, if something bad happens, then it must be God punishing us for something we did wrong. Never does it say that things will be sunshine and roses if we follow God; in fact, it is almost the opposite! But we are promised the presence of God as we go through life… and what is greater than God, Himself? I had to realize my reasonable service as a Christian was not to look nice at church and get married and have a house with a white picket fence and 2.5 kids, and never have a care… no, it was to present my BODY a living sacrifice.

I know all the right things to say to people and how to hold myself together, but sometimes I cry. But Jesus knows what it means to ask why. Even He prayed in the garden begging for the cup to pass from Him. And I know every time I cry God keeps my tears in a bottle and I don’t want Him to use those tears as a memorial to what I have “lost.” When I’m done crying, I ask Him to let them be a reminder of how I laid my body on the altar and let it be His to sacrifice so He knows I love Him. Then I ask if one day, I can take all of those tears, and wash His feet with them like Mary washed Jesus’ feet with her tears.

So, please know that it’s ok to cry. It’s ok to not understand. But in those quiet moments that no one knows about, shed some tears. They are sometimes the highest form of worship.

Isn’t that beautiful?  Her e-mail reminded me of a song by Selah – “Unredeemed” – a song written out of heartbreak over the loss of a child (I believe). I encourage you to listen to it if you’ve never heard it before. It has become one of my favorite songs ever since it was introduced to me sometime last year.

Life breaks and falls apart,
But we know these are
Places where grace is soon to be so amazing.
It may be unfulfilled;
It may be unrestored;
But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord,
Just watch and see –
It will not be unredeemed.

Remember Ruth?  And Job?  Do you remember Hannah’s agonizing prayer in the temple for the Lord to give her a child?  Baby Moses… remember him?  Mephibosheth?  Lazarus?  Mary Magdalene?  Hosea’s wife, Gomer?  And what about you and me?  Weren’t we all helpless and hopeless before the Savior found us?  Through His shed blood, He redeemed us unto Himself – His forever, free, justified, forgiven, alive, purchased.

“My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.” ~ Psalm 71:23

“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so…” ~ Psalm 107:2

“And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.” ~ Psalm 136:24

“Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” ~ Isaiah 43:1b

“I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.” ~ Isaiah 44:22

“Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” ~ Isaiah 51:11

“And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.” ~ Isaiah 62:12

“O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.” ~ Lamentations 3:58

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” ~ Galatians 3:13

How could you possibly be depressed after reading such verses? We are so undeserving, we’re so wretched and wicked – yet we’re so immensely blessed and loved by our God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace! We’re so rich – not with tangible things like gold and silver, but with intangible things that can only come from the Lord Jesus Christ!

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
~ Numbers 6:24-26


Posted on October 26, 2010, in Music, Personal and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Right now I’m reading (and re-reading) Romans, and a few days ago I noticed this in chapter 8, verse 17: “But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.”

    Also, Heather Joy, I’ve been writing a book to encourage churches to “love their neighbors,” Though at the moment it isn’t quite finished, it’s close, and it’s posted (free) on our family web site, http://www.sparkleofnature.com. One chapter, “Loving the sick,” has a lot of personal stories, and it sounds like right now you especially might appreciate some of them. Just go to that site, then click on “Activating the Forgotten Commandment,” then chapter 10. (Btw, that title doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten it exists; just that too many of us – including me for many years – don’t remember, or never learned, what all it really means.)

    We pray for you.


    • Romans is such a rich book in the Bible, is it not?

      Thank you for recommending that chapter – I will definitely have to check into it very soon!

      Thank you so much for your continued prayers!
      ~Heather Joy

      • Hi Heather Joy,

        The words in this post have encouraged me; thank you and Jessica for sharing them and the song. I’ve never heard it before but the lyrics are so powerful.

        It may be unfulfilled;
        It may be unrestored;
        But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord,
        Just watch and see –
        It will not be unredeemed.

        Each morning I wake up realizing (just a little more) how gracious and great God is; thinking about it just blows me away. I cannot fathom His infinte capacity to love me. Paul writes in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” — It’s as if God is saying through Paul, before you ever considered what was done on your behalf, Jesus said,It is finished!

        John writes in 1 John 3:1, “What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are.

        I am in awe of God!

        Blessings and peace.


        • How right you are! Your comment reminds me of another song:

          How deep the Father’s love for us,
          How vast beyond all measure –
          That He should give His only Son
          To make this wretch His treasure!

          And we have become joint-heirs with Christ, in that – as you said – “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” and we are become the children of God. What a Savior!

          Thank you for your encouraging comment!
          Heather Joy

  2. Passing by real quick to pray for you and let you know that you are not forgotten, sister in Christ! Fiery trials….I always think of them like a knife…cutting an onion. We are the onion. Its layers being peeled off, one after another. After the pain and suffering, comes the innermost part. The sweetest and purest part exposed. With aroma pleasing to God.

    Thanks be to God for giving us the victory! Thanks be to Jesus for He had overcome the world!!! Blessings to you sister and may His strength always be yours!

  3. Praying for you, and loving you.

  4. Thank you SO much for this post and song… My God son died 2 years ago on his 4th birthday and i have been struggling with it ever since. i haven’t been able to let go of the guilt, and sadness. I havent been able to just believe God needed him for a more special purpose. i keep questioning God’s path for my dear sweet boy. this was JUST what i needed to hear and a perfect reminder to lay it all before Him and move on, stop dwelling and make Ethan proud of me. Thank you again for this moving post!

    • Melissa, you are so very welcome. 🙂
      Sometimes life throws us curveballs, but it’s important to remember that nothing happens without God’s approval.

      “But if God is really a God of love and IF He really loved me, then why did He allow this to happen?”

      Consider yourself blessed. Remember Job? God “suggested” him to Satan. Basically God said: “My servant Job is so faithful and I have no doubt that He’ll still praise and love me no matter the circumstance, even if I give you complete control to do anything to him except take his life. So have at him…” And if you know the story, Satan inflicted Job’s body with sores and pain, he wiped out his family, destroyed his houses, killed his servants, and took away his livestock and possessions. Yes, GOD allowed that to happen. In fact, it was HIS idea.

      Sometimes we won’t always understand why God allows things to happen in our lives, and that’s okay. So long as you realize that God is always right, and we are always wrong – no matter WHAT the situation may be.

      “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
      Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
      But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
      If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
      But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”

      ~ James 1:2-6

      God Bless you, Melissa.
      ~ Heather Joy

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