Wednesday, January 17, 2018

My Jesus, As Thou Wilt

I know that I have shared a lot of hymns in the past few months, but sometimes my own words are inadequate.

Last May, a few days after Ed's brain surgery, our friend Jess and her parents came to visit us. Jess was so encouraging as she shared her experience with a benign brain tumor eight years ago. We were able to ask questions about her surgery and treatment. But, as any friend of Jess knows, just her presence was an inspiration.

A few months later, Jess was at our church on a Sunday morning. She planned to travel with some friends to share in a singing program after church. But part way through the service, Jess walked out. Her confusion caused her brother to take her to the hospital where she learned the monster was back. Her brain held many inoperable tumors which were diagnosed as glioblastoma, the same kind of aggressive brain cancer Ed has.

Jess was only 25 years old, but she had impacted our church in a huge way as nearly every family in our church has at least one child who had been a student in Jess' second grade classroom. I don't think I exaggerate to say that everyone loved Jess. She added so much joy to so many lives. The last months have been difficult as we watched Jess decline quickly. And, on Tuesday, Jess left her earthly body and the pain of this earth for her "inheritance incorruptible."

With Ed, Jess, and some other circumstances, our church has had a challenging year. Our faith in God has been tested. It is hard to look at a situation such as Jess and not wonder "why." So many prayed for healing for Jess, included dozens of children with their childlike faith, yet God did not answer with physical healing on this earth.

Yet we also know that God is so much bigger and wiser than us that He can take what we call a tragedy and turn it into good.  The God who can turn a cross into victory is certainly capable of redeeming even this. Maybe some day we will look back and see that Jess' death had a larger impact on the children and our church than her life had. But we don't know the answers now. The only way I have found peace to these unanswered questions is holding my hands up to God and say "Thy will be done."

But still it is hard. Ed is feeling so well now that we almost forget cancer sometimes, but some day we may be in the same grief as Jess' family.

Last week Ed was singing My Jesus, As Thou Wilt. (From my comments it may sounds as if Ed is super into music, but he claims he can hardly carry a tune--which isn't true. But Ed has a huge number of hymns in his memory and can usually recall one that applies to any situation.) I wasn't familiar with this hymn, but I've been thinking on these words a lot this week.

My Jesus, As Thou Wilt
by Benjamin Schmolck
Hymns of the Church #927

  1. My Jesus, as Thou wilt! Oh, may Thy will be mine!
    Into Thy hand of love I would my all resign;
    Through sorrow, or through joy, conduct me as Thine own,
    And help me still to say, “My Lord, Thy will be done.”
  2. My Jesus, as Thou wilt! Though seen through many a tear,
    Let not my star of hope grow dim or disappear;
    Since Thou on earth hast wept, and sorrowed oft alone,
    If I must weep with Thee, my Lord, Thy will be done.
  3. My Jesus, as Thou wilt! All shall be well for me;
    Each changing future scene I gladly trust with Thee:
    Straight to my home above I travel calmly on,
    And sing, in life or death, “My Lord, Thy will be done.”
  4. And here is the music if you'd like to listen.

11 comments :

  1. How sad to read about Jess, Gina. I have heard of such a lot of tragic events lately that have happened to Christians. I was speaking about this to a friend the other day who had lost her young grandson in a motor bike accident and asked her how she was coping and she said that God has it all in hand and one day we will see his ultimate plan but that He was there to comfort us in our time of grief. Big hugs to you and your family.

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  2. My thoughts have been on God as a mysterious God lately. We know His ways are past finding out. It seems so spiritual to have an adverse circumstance, and be able to see what God wanted us to learn, and come to the point where we praise Him for that, and testify what He has done. But so often, our trials and tests do not have neatly packaged endings, and it may not be until we get to Heaven that we will be able to see what God was doing... I've thought a lot of your church over this time, and prayed for you all.

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  3. Such a beautiful song. Santa Barbara, CA where we used to live has suffered much tragedy with the Thomas Fire and now the mudslides. I know that somehow God will be glorified

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  4. Hugs and prayers for your family and church families at this time of the great loss of Jess. Please know you are all loved. God's blessings to you all.

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  5. So sorry to hear of the loss of sweet Jess, but rejoicing she isn't suffering any more! This song is beautiful and what a prayer. We're continuing to pray for you as you faithfully walk with our Savior!

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  6. HAY GRAN DOLOR EN EL PUEBLO DE DIOS, HACE 20 DIAS, PARTIO MI PEQUEÑA NIETA DE 2 DIAS DE VIDA, ERA LA PRIMER HIJA DE MI HIJA Y SU ESPOSO, ELLA HABIA SUFRIDO VARIOS ABORTOS ESPONTANEOS Y ESTA ERA LA PRIMERA VEZ QUE PARECIA QUE EL EMBARAZO LLEGABA A BUEN TERMINO. PERO DIOS QUISO OTRA COSA. ES DIFICIL ACEPTAR LA VOLUNTAD DE DIOS, NO ES ALGO MALO LO QUE EXPRESO, EL DOLOR ES MUY FUERTE Y MUCHAS LAGRIMAS SON DERRAMADAS, PERO DIOS EN SU INFINITA MISERICORDIA, SECARA TODAS LAS LAGRIMAS DE SUS HIJOS EN EL DIA QUE ESTEMOS TODOS JUNTOS EN SU MORADA CELESTIAL. BENDICIONES, ESTAMOS ORANDO POR SU ESPOSO DESDE BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA.

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    Replies
    1. I pray that God will give you and your daughter comfort. That has to be very hard.
      Blessings,
      Gina

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  7. It's so hard to hang on to the perspective, that this life is short for all of us, and eternity is, well, eternity. I just know that your church and community are better for having had Jess pass your way, and that the Lord continues to hear the cries of His children, and ministers to us, even in the midst of confounding troubles. HUGS and more hugs, to all.

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  8. Yes Gina....we do not understand God and His ways but if we would be able to figure Him out then He wouldn't be God.I claim Jeremiah 29:11. Enjoy each day....grace is given as we need it. Praying for you and rejoicing that your husband is feeling so well!

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  9. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you all, there are no words for such a loss. Hugs Sue x

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  10. Dear Gina, praying for you all, I'm so glad that Ed is doing well, but sorry for the loss of your family friend from church. May you know that God is with us in all things, even when it feels so hard. Rejoice in the Lord always is even more important to remember in the tough times. Hugs
    shelley p
    from over the pond

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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