"In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life;" Romans 6:11-13
I wasn't going to listen to Romans this morning on the way to work. I thought.....I listened to this last week. I have heard it all before.....But I forgot one very important thing about God's word. It has staying power, the power of life in it. It never fails to bring life to the hearer. As I listened to the words of Paul again, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I began to get chills up and down my arms.
I was hearing it against the backdrop of everything we have been through these past many months
I got a picture in my mind of impassioned Paul, speaking in front of a courtroom, striding back and forth. One moment Prosecutor of sin, the next brilliant public Defender of the faith, (as if it needed any defending.)
As I listened to the first 6 Chapters the words flowed over me and I reflected on the past 3 days.....that's where the chills came in. We can go through anything, my friends, because we are a people who have been brought from death to life. That's how we roll.
That is the reason for the hope that lies within us. That's the thing that makes it possible to rise up in the morning and do it all again, and with an attitude of hope that no circumstance or person can ever stamp out. That's the brilliant backdrop, the reality that we can't see with our eyes, but that we feel with every fiber of our being.
Each one of us knows the truth. We were built to last. Though our bodies are perishing, our God stamp......our spirit, our soul will live on. And one day, we will rise, as He rose, with new bodies. Bodies that can live in God's world, with Him forever. What a tremendous hope!
"Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." 1 John 3:2-3
And He is with us now. As I look back on the past few months, I cannot deny God's hand at work....we have talked about it, Elaine and I. I have stood beside her, helping her to navigate this particular valley of death. That's what it has felt like anyway.
Dealing with all the stress of a Dad with dementia, one minute angry and accusatory, the next minute apologetic....
His move into a rest home........
Her Mom's move in with us.......
Learning to live under the same roof with Alzheimers and everything that goes with it......
The emptying out of their house, which we did ourselves, with the help of some very helpful "angels" to cart off some of the biggest items, finishing only just last Tuesday.
Moving everything left into storage.
And finally, the sale of their home.....I can only say that God has been glorified through it all, because we know the truth of these words......"I will never leave you or forsake you......and He hasn't.....and He won't.
And in between all these lines there is the everyday life, the toughest part. Where the nitty-gritty battles are fought day in and day out. The fatigue and stress of living with someone who has lived their whole life through a prism of negativity. The life you escaped from.
I look back in disbelief at what we did......the three of us.
I look ahead with hope, because He showed us again that He will never leave us.