Sunday, July 20, 2008

A HOLY, SACRED CONSOLATION

Milton, here for Kristy:

Suffering is not a pleasant topic. Who wants to suffer? Who has the answers as to why?

But Kristy suffered terribly Saturday. Just to move her slightly was painful even with all the meds in her. It is heart breaking to watch anyone suffer but especially a dear one.

This wonder of humor, this zealous optimistic enthusiast, this pursuer of wisdom and knowledge, this creative wiz, this organized genius, this detailed planner and farsighted task completer, this passionate composer of words, this woman of heart to bless others, this homemaker and kitchen delight, this designer and decorator with whimsy and excellence, this lover of family and friend and the one who is down, this kind and helpful soul, this teacher, mentor, speaker, this joy giver, this precious model and pattern to follow, this extra miler, this Christ seeker and God worshipper, the star of my life, my partner and my dearest friend, and my lover wilting in pain before my very eyes.

In September of 1995 I gave Kristy The Full Life Study Bible New International Version. We have used it together for morning devotions and Kristy has personal notes in it. I use it now for early devotions and as I read through it I occasionally see something she has underlined or put a sticky note to mark a personal interest or thought. Her handwriting and thoughts obviously have dear and intriguing interest for me.

Today I found a small pink sticky note at the bottom of the page in her hand writing and on it she had simply written "Ps. 94:19 NIV". That was all that she wrote. I looked up the page and found the verse. It reads:

"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." (Ps. 94:19)

I paused and meditated.

Anxiety great within her? Me? What about Questions? Fears? Uncertainty?

Yes I feel that, but I do have His consolation.

His consolation bears the fruit of joy. Unexplainable, unspeakable joy that comes even yet when there is sorrow, grief, and pain beyond words. God has brought consolation to Kristy's soul and to my soul. We know the truth of His Word. It is marked within our souls. It rises up with a shout of faith, "Our redeemer lives! There is promise! There is a hope! This is not the end! There is a Victor and A Mighty Conquerer! He is The Lord!"

Kristy has always had a high pain tolerance. She is not a weakling. She has shown unbelievable courage standing strong when the diagnosis and prognosis of this GBM brain tumor was given. Through brain surgery and recovery, then radiation, and pain, misery, grief and sorrow, she has kept her praise. She has proclaimed the goodness of the Lord.


An anonymous post reminded me of one of Kristy's writings from this past March:

Anonymous said...

On March 12 of this year, Kristy wrote an entry that ended with this:""Lord, the day I was diagnosed GBM stage 4 brain cancer, You dropped a cloud of peace over me, and it hasn't left, and just as You did that for me, I know You will do that for everyone involved in this journey. I have confidence in You, Lord. The same day You dropped that cloud of peace over me, You slid a large "chair" under me, and it has held me up ever since.

"Thank You, Lord, for Your blessings on me."

She has remained faithful throughout this trial, and what has blessed me most is her faith in God's plan. She doesn't know when or how he will heal her--here or in Heaven, but she knows that he will. Praise God for his presence and provision. Without Him, our hope tank would be running on empty.

***

But as I stood by her bed Saturday, her pain was becoming increasingly more severe. Every movement tore into her body. We gave her more medication but that didn't stop the pain of slight movement.

The Book of Job has never been a favorite preaching spot for me. I like the ending but everything before the last chapter requires some discipline for me to read. There is too much loss, sorrow, death, and questions in Job's writings to attract me.

But Job 6:2-3 leaps off the page, "If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas..." I understand those words better now but Kristy understands these words far more than me.

Anguish and misery tipping the scales and outweighing the sands of the seas on the other side of the balance. I know that feeling.

But then Job 6:10 comes to the forefront, "Then I would still have this consolation--my joy in unrelenting pain--that I have not denied the words of the Holy One."

Unrelenting pain!

Can there be joy in unrelenting pain?

Pain in every movement.

Pain of thoughts of separation.

Pain of warmth and closeness slipping away.

Pain of unfinished dreams.

Can there be joy?

Where is the consolation?

There is this consolation--we have not denied the words of the Holy One.

Our breaths reach and long for life beyond this world.

26 Comments:

At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Mimi - bartow, fla said...

Good Morning Pastor Dykes,
I woke up this morning with you all on my heart. I do not know ya'll ,but i have asked God myself ,WHY all this . When and where does it end. I am reading all of Kristy's books , i am on my second one now, so much faith in them and strength and courage. How is Julie and Jennifer doing? i pray they both are feeling better.
I will continue to pray .
God Bless you all,
Mimi

 
At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Lord gave me this to share with you this morning, from the Life Application Bible:

Who then can ever keep Christ's love from us? When we have trouble or calamity, when we are hunted down or destroyed, is it because he doesn't love us anymore? And if we are hungry, or penniless, or in danger, or threatened with death, has God deserted us?
No, for the Scriptures tell us that for his sake we must be ready to face death at every moment of the day--we are like sheep awaiting slaughter; but despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us. For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels won't, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God's love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are--high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean--nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us. [Romans 8:35-39]

Our prayers continue for healing, peace, comfort, and joy.

Love from,
Nancy & family

 
At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Nicole said...

You two are unrelenting in your faith. Jesus watches and waits, sorrow in his eyes but joy in his heart. His love is everlasting and being with Him is the ultimate of our longing.

Thank you for showing me not only how to live through sorrow but how to live through dying to get to real life.

 
At 10:55 AM, Blogger PastorMac's Ann said...

Praying for you all.

 
At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks again for sharing with us. We love all of your family and are continuing to pray for you all. God is with you always.

Trk N 4 JC

 
At 1:16 PM, Blogger Arlene said...

Sending love and praying for all of you.

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger Karen Eve said...

Praying for you all, healing, peace, strength, and that He meet your every need. Milton, thank you again for keeping us posted, although it must be difficult at times.
Blessings,

 
At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We wait every day for the up date on Kristy. What a blessing and inspiration you two are even in the midst of the storm. Just remember.....your anchor holds.

We are praying with you.

Danny and Peggy (Cadd) Daniels
Wanchese, NC

 
At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How excrutiating to watch our loved ones go through something like this. He will never leave us, nor forsake us, and He will never leave Kristy, you, or your family. I know you know this--your faith is some of the strongest I've seen. I just pray God removes this unrelenting pain from Kristy. I pray He grants her mercy and comfort and peace. In the powerful name of Jesus and by His blood, I pray.

Nan S.

 
At 3:52 PM, Blogger Kim said...

Precious Dykes Family,
We are praying for you all. May the Lord give you His unending peace and joy through this. Keep resting in Him.
Kim Woodhouse

 
At 4:07 PM, Blogger Shana said...

continuing to pray
with love, in seattle - shana

 
At 4:16 PM, Blogger DayleShockley said...

The joy of the Lord is truly amazing joy. Even when our hearts are as heavy as Job described, we still have the Holy Spirit inside, and the assurance that no matter what happens, it is the joy of the Lord that will bring us back from the depths of our sorrow and pain.

Praying for you all.

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger Carrie Turansky said...

Dear Friends,
Your words have touched me deeply. You are continually on my mind and in my heart. We love you, and we pray for your continued strength and grace. May you sense His presence there with you to comfort and care for each need.
Love from,
Carrie in NJ

 
At 4:48 PM, Blogger Mary Connealy said...

I'm so sorry for your pain. God is holding you all so close right now.

 
At 5:06 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

While my eyes are filled with tears for Kristy, my heart's filled with praise. Nicole said it best above, where she said you and Kristy are showing us not only how to live through sorrow but how to live through dying to get to real life.

Thank you for sharing the journey. As always, I'm lifting y'all up.

 
At 5:39 PM, Blogger Sharlene MacLaren said...

I continue to pray for all of you! This is an excruciatingly difficult time now, but I sense God's goodness and mercy in the middle of your deep sorrow and Christy's suffering.

Perhaps you won't know until you reach your Heavenly Home, Milton, what an amazing impact you've made all over the world by sharing your heart on Kristy's blog.

Keep your faith strong and your hope alive!

Hugs and Blessings,
Shar

West Michigan writer and ACFW member

 
At 7:37 PM, Blogger Blissful said...

I was thinking of Kristy today and what a wonderful woman of God. God be with her!!!

Also, I was wondering if the Dr could put Kristy on a morphine drip IV or something similar so she has pain medication delivered constantly?

 
At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is difficult to watch those we love suffer, but how precious it is to know that God is faithful and that in our weakness, He reaches out to us and draws us unto Himself. He is our Hope, our Redeemer, in Whom we can trust our present, future, and eternity.

I pray that God will give you, Julie, Jennifer, and the grandchildren an extra abundance of peace and strength.

Thank you for posting, although I know it is difficult. Your words bless and encourage us.

I'm continuing to pray for you and Kristy.

Lavada

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger Kathy Collard Miller said...

Thank you for your comments which are honest and faith-filled. You have let us all into your heart and we love and appreciate you for it.

 
At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eternity is sounding sweeter every day.

I'm sorry for your anguish, sorry for this pulling-away time. Sorry for Kristy's unrelenting pain. Sorry for this whole stinkin' mess.

But in glory, we won't deal with any of this. No more pain. No sorrow. No separation. No tears.

Pure bliss, thanks to the One who paved our way. Praise God for His amazing provision. We love Him because He first loved us, and wooed us to himself. He is our Anchor and our Salve, the lifter of our sorrows and our Source of everlasting hope. May you find solace for your soul tonight. God is tenderly attending to each member of your family. I believe that. He is preparing you for what lies ahead.

Receive it, and know that He holds every second in His loving hands.

 
At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Norma McGee said...

My love, thoughts and prayers are there constantly.

Norma

 
At 11:02 PM, Blogger Lee said...

Praying for you all,

Lee
Western Australia

 
At 11:18 PM, Blogger nanatrish said...

Thank you for always being so honest with us. Your walk is hard and watching Kristy must be so difficult. I watched my daddy and I felt so helpless. Please know that you have so many people praying for you and I pray she won't have to suffer like this. He is our Redeemer!

 
At 11:28 PM, Anonymous Sylvia Thomas said...

Dear Bro Milton, Kristy, and girls,
Our hearts go out to you and reach up in prayer to our Heavenly Father for healing, continued peace in the midst of this raging storm, & joy unspeakable & full of GLORY! You are not alone in this! The saints of God, you brothers & sisters, stand with you,holding you up in our thoughts & requests of healing & restoration for your family. You are greatly loved and great is our faith in the power of God at work! Father God , give our precious Kristy relief from this terrible pain and blessed peace! Love, Sylvia Thomas*

 
At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton, I have no words other than to say again that Bill and I are praying for you, the girls, and all the family during this time. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings; I know it must be very difficult.

Love and prayers,
Bill and Renee' Cotton
Lakeland, FL

 
At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Deborah Anderson said...

As always, you all are in our thoughts and prayers.

 

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