Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christ is a well of life: an update on Kezia's condition

As a family we are quite overwhelmed by all the messages of support that we have received from all over the world, for the many people who are praying, and for the offers of practical support from our own congregation, and from friends and churches in Liverpool.

We are also profoundly grateful for the way in which Kezia is coping with all of this.  She will be readmitted to Alder Hey on Monday and her operation is scheduled for Thursday.  We have met her surgeon and he is regarded as one of the finest in the UK, if not the finest, when it comes to operating on the rare type of brain tumour that she has.

David Meredith wrote to me and said that he hoped and prayed that what we have learned and experienced in the light will stay with us in the dark.  May it be so for these are deep and dark waters.  But as I said to Kezia last week, it is wonderful that God is our God, that is what he has promised to be, he is the God of the Covenant.  We know where our only comfort in life and in death lies.

Continue to pray for us

Here are some words that I have found helpful in the past and continue to draw encouragement from.

Robert Murray M'Cheyne:
You will never find Jesus so precious as when the world is one vast howling wilderness. Then He is like a rose blooming in the midst of the desolation,--a rock rising above the storm.
Samuel Rutherford:
If there were ten thousand, thousand millions of worlds, and as many heavens full of men and angels, Christ would not be pinched to supply all our wants, and to fill us all.

Christ is a well of life, but who knoweth how deep it is to the bottom?
And the following gem is also from Rutherford:
Grace tried is better than grace, and it is more than grace; it is glory in its infancy
John Owen:
Our beholding by faith things which are not seen, things spiritual and eternal, will alleviate all our afflictions,--make their burden light, and preserve our souls from fainting under them. Of these things the glory of Christ..is the principal, and in a due sense comprehensive of them all. For we behold the glory of God himself "in the face of Jesus Christ."

He that can at all times retreat unto the contemplation of this glory, will be carried above the perplexing prevailing sense of any of these evils, of a confluence of them all.

It is a woful kind of life, when men scramble for poor perishing reliefs in their distresses. This is the universal remedy and cure,--the only balsam for all our diseases. Whatever presseth, urgeth, perplexeth, if we can but retreat in our minds unto a view of this glory, and a due consideration of our own interest therein, comfort and supportment will be administered to us.
From the preface to the reader, "Meditations and Discourses on The Glory of Christ," in The Works of John Owen Volume 1, p. 278

Calvin on salvation in Christ:
When we see salvation whole,
its every single part
is found in Christ,
And so we must beware
lest we derive the smallest drop
from somewhere else.

For if we seek salvation, the very name of Jesus
teaches us that he possesses it.

If other Spirit-given gifts are sought--
in his anointing they are found;
strength--in his reign;
and purity--in his conception;
and tenderness--expressed in his nativity,
in which in all respects like us he was,
that he might learn to feel our pain:

Redemption when we seek it, is in his passion found;
acquittal--in his condemnation lies;
and freedom from the curse--in his cross is given.

If satisfaction for our sins we seek--we'll find it in his sacrifice;
and cleansing in his blood.
If reconciliation now we need, for this he entered Hades.
To overcome our sins we need to know that in his tomb they're laid.
Then newness of our life--his resurrection brings
and immortality as well comes also with that gift.

And if we also long to find
inheritance in heaven's reign,
his entry there secures it now
with our protection, safety, too, and blessings that abound
--all flowing from his royal throne.

The sum of all is this:
For those who seek
this treasure-trove of blessing of all kinds
in no one else can they be found
than him,
for all are given
in Christ alone.
Quoted in Sinclair Ferguson, In Christ Alone, p. 7-8

And finally, Louis Berkhof on Christ as our High Priest:
It is a consoling thought that Christ is praying for us, even when we are negligent in our prayer life; that He is presenting to the Father those spiritual needs which were not present to our minds and which we often neglect to include in our prayers; and that He prays for our protection against the dangers of which we are not even conscious, and against the enemies which threaten us, though we do not notice it. He is praying that our faith may not cease, and that we may come out victoriously in the end.

6 comments:

Trisha said...

Thank you for the update on Kezia. We have prayed for all of you and will continue to do so.

Gary Brady said...

Continuing to pray for you. So encouraging to read your post.

Y Cymro said...

Your quotations remind me of Smauel Rutherford's letter to one of his parishoners who has just suffered the bereavement of a child. He wrote "I am persuadest that thou knowest that the weightiest end of the cross that you bear, lieth upon your strong Saviour".

I am persuaded of the same with you brother. We are praying.
Matt

Gary Benfold said...

Praying for you here, too.

Marcus said...

praying for you here too

chielmore said...

Praise God for you, brother. You have honored Christ in this post and encouraged me greatly.