Friday, April 22, 2005

i've learned this semester...

This has been an extremely rough semester. It began with a good friend having cancer. Midterms hit me along with news of my aunt having cancer. It's ended with one of my best friend's life being rocked by cancer and death and my sister going through an intense and dangerous depression. Littered within these events has been sickness, hurt, excitement, life change, etc. Don't get me wrong, there has been tremendous joy, even among the pain and sadness, but it has been a very tough and trying semester.

As I've reflected on it, though, I can see God working in so many ways. So many good things have come about because of my friend's cancer: new friends, deeper friendships, and changing relationships. With my aunt and my sister, I've had opportunities to share Christ with my sister and my unsaved family members several times in addition to them pursuing me for prayer through my aunt's cancer and my sister's depression.

I've learned that only by God's grace and mercy can any of us endure what life comes our way. We are weak and vulnerable and unable to overcome and endure anything without Christ. Paul declared we, "can do all things through Christ, who strengthens" us. Without Christ, though, we are nothing. He is our Refuge. He is our Rock. He is our Strong Tower.

Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart. and the boast of my tongue;
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affections, and bound my soul fast.

Without Thy sweet mercy I could not live here;
Sin would reduce me to utter despair;
But, through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive,
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart;
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground,
And weep to the praise of the mercy I’ve found.

Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own,
And the covenant love of Thy crucified Son;
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine.
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine.

until Christ is formed in us...


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