This past Sunday I was scheduled to go to church with a friend who said she'd pick me up. Saturday night was misery...no sleep and hallucinations aplenty. I was feeling anything but like going to a church full of people whom I knew would all want to hug me and welcome me back. I strongly considered cancelling my ride, but in the end, decided that, "Hey, you can't be more miserable than you already are," and went. The hugs were difficult (I didn't feel like being touched) and I know my demeanor was less than welcoming to people, but the sermon was an arrow headed straight for a waiting target.
The pastor, a young man in his really early thirties, sat down on a chair in front of the church and called his two little children to the front to sit on his lap. They were obviously hesitant to go up in front of everyone, but once on his lap, the crowd was forgotten. The only one they had eyes for was DADDY. They snuggled up and settled in, gazing adoringly at his face. He began to speak that if we had any other view of God than this one, we had the wrong idea.
He spoke of how that view, in his mind, was tested during the past week where there'd been many difficult things for a young pastor to deal with, including death. But how, in the end, he had to come back to the fact, that we are God's kids and loved beyond our greatest comprehension. He showed a video of a pastor from our denomination who'd been assailed by a mysterious, undiagnosible illness from which he'd almost died, and which had left him quite disabled. I'd seen the video before and had been very moved, but had forgotten about it.
Pastor Stumbo's message was loud and as clear as his struggling voice could make it: "I don't like this journey that I'm on, but GOD IS IN IT; AND GOD IS GOOD." This arrow also hit home with me. My illness sucks. But God is still in control, and He loves me beyond measure. What more can a girl ask?