The Faith once delivered…

Today was tough. She is becoming more and more awake and alert, which means she is more and more aware of what has happened. That is tough.

She started rehab evaluations today, so we saw the extent of the damage. We don’t know how much will be permanent. No one does. That is tough, seeing the damage, knowing the names of the damage.

And my thoughts fly everywhere. My emotions fly everywhere. I didn’t sleep. I feel weak and foolish. I feel angry and I don’t know who to be angry with. I don’t know if she will laugh like she used to or call me silly names like she used to or giggle hysterically at ridiculous puns like she used to.

I don’t know what will happen – and I cry out in words I can’t form. I scream in exhaustion and somewhere the words I learned as a child come into my mind and in the whirlwind I have a place to put my feet.

“I believe in God the Father Almighty,”

Will the doctors be skilled? Will they know the secrets of the mind and body that they need to know? Will her eyes work right? Will she remember how to read and what words and numbers and colors mean?

“Maker of heaven and earth.”

Why is she suffering? Does anyone care? Is there redemption for her? Is there a plan in all of this? What is the purpose? Who’s in charge that I can cry out to?

“And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our lord…”

I don’t know how this will work out. I don’t know what her future will hold. I don’t know when our breaking point will be. I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know…

Is anyone walking with her, with me, with us?

“Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate…”

I wake at night with the words of Jacob in my head – “my days of the years of my life have been few and evil…” This cursed world seems brutal, short, ugly, harsh and I weary of life – and then, the words….the words…

“was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell.”

For us and for our salvation. His days were cut off brutally. He was abandoned by God so that she would never, ever be. He was forsaken so that she would never be alone in this cursed world, for he shepherds her and gathers her into his bosom….

And is there an end to this? Who will show us the way?

“The third day, he rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the father almighty.

From thence, he shall come to judge the living and the dead.”

Life is often brutal, hard and short. Some suffer a little, some suffer tremendously. Some, like Lazarus, receive evil on this earth, while others receive good things.

But he is coming to judge the living and the dead. Every enemy will be destroyed. Every tongue stopped. Every virus destroyed, every twisted illness of Satan cast into the lake of fire.

And the last enemy to be destroyed is death.

And what until then? Will we see good in the land of the living? Will God’s presence go with us until the end?

“I believe in the Holy Spirit”

But I so often feel alone and frightened and like there is no one who understand, no one to lift this burden, no one to share this journey…

“The holy catholic church, the communion of saints”

And I see the light of God’s countenance shining through the saints around the world. I know your prayers and your gifts and your encouragements and I again lift my head up and know that God has not left us without a witness, but the unanimous voice of the true church in all the ages joins their tongue with ours crying out “Holy, Holy, Holy!”

“Yet I have reserved for myself 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”

And these footsteps through this dark valley are not in vain, and even when I cry out in unbelief and fear, the shepherd does not let me go. He still cleanses; he still gathers. He still finds the lost lamb…

“The forgiveness of sins, the resurrection from the dead, and the life everlasting…”

Complete victory will be ours. We shall see him face to face. Even when we don’t feel like it. Even when he seems to have forgotten. Even when the blackness gets blacker. I remember the words.

And then she hugs me. And then she says, “Heyo, Papa.” And then she smiles.

And the light of Jesus shines again through the faith which was once delivered to the saints, and the smiles of his servants, and the voice of their witness crying out together in the furnace of affliction….”how long, Lord? How long?”




Filed under Encephalitis journey

10 responses to “The Faith once delivered…

  1. bunkababy

    I am listening. Reading. Watching. I have been in your shoes. Maybe my daughter did not have a wandering eye or could lift her right side. But My Daughter was not who she was.

    Her laughter was gone. It was met with a blank stare. She repeatedly asked do I like this song? Do I know this? And then repeat it in 5 minutes. She could not brush her hair. She moved like a snail. She was not the same girl.

    She has come back, not quite the same. But she is always our girl. Our daughter.
    Your Margaret is always God’s gift to you. No matter what form she comes in.

    It is hard. So many unanswered questions. So many unknowns. I walk beside you in spirit across the keyboard to a family I have never known.

    You are not alone in this.

  2. John Guild

    Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Sam?”

  3. Anonymous

    I am weeping. Broken gutwrenching tears of brokenness in my own broken world. Thankyou for the words I could not say, for the rage I could not scream. For giving me the tears I could not cry.

    • Z

      I second your sentiments word for word. Gut wrenching, brokenness, rage, cries, screams…But all to a God Who HEARS. He KNOWS. This IS a short, brutal, cruel life for some of us. But we, like Pastor Powell, remember. We remember what’s important. We remember our glorious END! And then we can take another breath and another step when we thought we could never do it. Our Savior holds us, like he does Pastor’s daughter, CLOSE and IN HIS BOSOM-NEAR HIS BEAUTIFUL HEART. Sincere, hopeful prayers for you and your family, Pastor.

  4. Janet

    Sam, I was awake in the night, weeping because of loss of relationship with some of my children…I prayed then for Margaret, your precious girl. |Even in the blackest of nights, the Holy Spirit prompted another suffering saint to pray for your sweet daughter. God is with us in this journey. He never leaves nor forsakes us, even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. As always, your words moved me to tears of gratefulness.

  5. When Twinny’s incident happened and I was sitting in the Dallas, Texas airport, I was able to talk to her for a few short minutes. When I asked her how she is feeling, she said “Like I’ve been hit by a Mac truck.” Then there was a slight pause, and she said “Like I’ve been shot in the head”. We both laughed. But that did my heart a whirl of good. At that moment, I knew she would be ok. “Ok” before the incident is totally different than the “ok” now. But she is ok.
    When you said that your daughter said “Heyo Papa” I get the same feeling. Your girl is and will be ok. It may not be the same “ok” as a month ago. And like I’ve told my twin sister since her incident, God had her back January 23,2018. God has her back now. ((((((Hugs)))))

  6. Violet Tse

    So beautifully expressed – a lament from the heart poured out to the God of all comfort.

  7. Wendy

    I am so sorry Mr. Powell. May the Lord sustain you and your family. Thank God the gospel is true! Grace and peace.

  8. Gut-wrenching brokenness and tears … and yet you still brought glory to God. Thank you for sharing. Praying.

  9. Beverley Bhaskare

    Dear Pastor Sam
    Thank you for sharing. God bless you and your precious daughter and all your family.
    It brings tears to my eyes.
    I’m suffering in a different way but your honesty gives me hope. Thank you so much.

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