Thursday, December 13, 2012

We've Overcome


I do not know why God awakened me in the middle of the night and delivered this to my spirit.

His name was Mel. He was a long distance truck driver and he looked every bit that part. However since Jesus came into his life he was one of the sweetest men I have ever known. He and his sweet wife, Nancy, were made for each other. They both were always faithful to Jesus and labored in whatever capacity the body needed them. They were the kind of couple pastors wish they could clone. To be honest they were the type of believers we pastors wish we were many, many times. There, I have broken our “sacred code”.

One day Mel felt ill, and after a few days he and Nancy went to the doctor's. After many tests and after Mel grew worse it was diagnosed that Mel had a serious blood disease. The church body was devastated. We prayed and we anointed Mel and we prayed and we wept. And we prayed. But God in His infinite wisdom was not healing our dear brother. Nancy tried to be strong but the situation began to take its toll on her. Again, we prayed, we wept. I weep now as I write. I suggest any true shepherd weeps many times, sometimes in self pity (there, another code broken) but many times over his sheep.

Mel became a little better, and as these things sometimes play out, the hospital sent him home where Nancy joyfully became his loving servant. But after a few weeks it became obvious that Mel was getting worse. Dramatically worse. Now all you self righteous people who surmise to know some formula for healing may stop reading because you have yet to understand what it means to surrender completely to our Master while begging Him for something, and yet the Spirit is speaking “No…”, lovingly and gently. If you believe that there is some incantation that can always deliver unto us what we desire and sometimes what we think we deserve, then you will never experience the care of the Shepherd as you climb up into His lap and cling without a complete understanding. It is most mysterious.

One day as I went by to see Mel and Nancy he was so sick he could barely move. Now I was not only the pastor, but I was the worship leader as well. I led as I played the piano and God had given my scores of worship songs. There were several favorites, but Mel called me closer to his bed and whispered “Could you make me a tape of the song “We’ve Overcome”? My vistit was toward the end of the week, and as I left their home I hugged Nancy and I told her to be by her phone during the morning hours on Sunday.

On that Sunday we had taken an extension telephone cord and placed an office phone on a small table in the middle of the sanctuary. We praised God for many minutes, and then I informed the congregation we were going to call Mel. After expressing our love for Mel, we began to sing “We’ve Overcome” while the phone was on full speaker. I doubt there was a dry eye in our midst, and later Nancy told me they held each other and wept while praising God. Mel went to be with Jesus not many days after that. I miss my friend, but not as others who have no hope. Here are the words to that song.

Adam had forsaken God when Eve believed a lie,
The earth was cursed and so were we,
Our souls condemned to die.
The fig leaf aprons could not hide the awful sin and shame,
From now on every person born must share in Adam’s blame.
But in the midst of hopelessness came One who took our stead,
The glorious King of Glory died,
Redeeming blood was shed.

We’ve overcome by the blood of the Lamb
We’re safely in, our Father’s hand.
We’re marching on to possess the Promised Land,
We’ve overcome by the blood of the Lamb.

But now the perilous times are here, all righteousness is shunned,
And wickedness consumes the earth,
God’s judgment soon must come.
But in the midst of all this lives,
The Bride of God’s own Son,
We’ve washed our linens in His blood,
And now we’ve over come!

We’ve overcome by the blood of the Lamb
We’re safely in, our Father’s hand.
We’re marching on to possess the Promised Land,
We’ve overcome by the blood of the Lamb.

If I could speak to my friend and brother he would tell me that, yes, there are people who I knew who were there with Jesus. But since I knew how Mel loved Jesus and wept sometimes while worshiping His Savior, I believe he would caution me. He might tell me that although those people are there, and all the Bible people we have read about are also there, I would be consumed with Jesus when I got there. He might tell me that His brilliance and the weight of His incandescent glory blanketed the blood washed throngs. Yes, Mel would be captured by the Lion and the Lamb. And finally I could here my dear brother say to me,

“Brother Rick, everyone here has overcome by the blood of the Lamb!”

I am broken and undone this morning by God’s Spirit pulling back the veil ever so slightly and allowing me to see just a little more of the One who overcame by His precious blood and shared it with me. And throughout eternity it will become completely evident that our place of worship in eternity has been purchased for us. We have not earned it and we do not deserve one moment in His presence much less all of eternity. We will know as we are known. And if we are allowed some sort of knowledge of who we were, and as we gaze with perfect eyes at the prefect Lamb, forever we will fall before Him. Yes, we’ve overcome by the blood of the Lamb. Selah.


Anonymous said...

This is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing these precious thoughts. A wonderful reminder!

JMD said...

Many years ago I had a very dear friend who was a very mature Christian when I was a baby one. She gently and lovingly answered questions and encouraged me. One day as I was speaking to her about death of those we pray so earnestly for healing she said to me. "Everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die to get there."

Many years have passed since she went to be with the Lord but I always think of what she said to me and I have to smile. So true.

Rick Frueh said...

The hardest trust is one in which all outward signs seem to invite you, even tear you away from trusting Christ. But I have found, not with a perfect record, that if I can trust Christ when all I have is Christ it is an experience that soars above anything earthly.
There whaty we could call resting places in the Spirit which are gifts of grace and which can bind up wounds and fill us with Christ. When we are and admit to being empty we may be filled with His unpspeakable wine.
There are times I desire to know Him better, but there are times in which I seem to be content with what I know. I pray the part of me called "Rick" would die and roll away the stone and reveal the Christ. He deserves much more than I have or ever can give Him.

Anonymous said...

2 Corinthians 12:9a And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

Some lessons that God gives us are hard courses to follow, but the end result is glory and honor to Jesus.

Praise God,

Cherie said...

Thank you Pastor Rick, for some answers. God Bless you and keep you close to Him.

Cherie C.

brendan said...

1 thessalonias 4 13 to 18

Bill Cotton said...

Thank you brother for sharing your heart! It blessed me this morning to read how God comforts in the midst of pain.

He did send the Comforter, we just seem to forget that in times of trials, tribulation, and death.

God Bless!

Anonymous said...

THank you for sharing this. In moments of dryness, which I've had a lot of lately, this is a reminder that He is wonderful and even though my mind and body can't see beyond the distractions of life, I know that He is all.

When my mind is tired, and I can't see beyond the veil, and can't get excited about 'streets of Gold' or 'heavenly places', or most importantly, The Lamb in His brilliance and glory, words like this one penetrate through my tired soul and encourage me.

So nice to hear of people like Mel and Nancy. I don't know them personally, but feel 'one' through Christ, with them and everyone here.

Kathleen said...

2Cor.5:2 For in this we groan,earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from Heaven.
Thank you for sharing your story, tears of sorrow and joy as we think of those gone before us.