Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Shadow of the Cross

One of my very favorite songs of all time is Kari Jobe's "What love is this."

The chorus goes like this:

"What love is this, that You gave Your life for me
And made a way for me to know You.
And I confess, You're always enough for me
You're all I need."

I just love this song, and God used it and this photograph to teach me a little something this week.

It was the week before Easter last year that I was first diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. We have been fighting this awful disease for almost exactly a year now and I can't believe it.

Many people may look at my life and say that I have suffered greatly in the last year.
~I've endured 12 treatments of ABVD chemo, 2 rounds of Brentuximab, and 2 rounds of ICE chemo. ~I've lost my hair twice and gained close to 30 pounds.
~I've been told I would not be able to have children naturally.
~I've seen my chances of surviving and having a long-term remission decrease steadily with each disappointing scan.
~I've watched my family, friends, and husband suffer because of a disease that is completely out of my control.
~I've experienced fear, doubt, hurt, anger, and disappointment over and over again.

Yes, many would say I have suffered this year, and most days I would whole-heartedly agree.

But as I sit here tonight and think about Easter, my suffering seems so tiny compared to what my Jesus suffered.

"I look to You
I see the scars upon Your hands
And hold the truth
That when I can't You always can.
I'm standing here beneath the shadow of the cross, 

I'm overwhelmed that I keep finding open arm."

My Jesus suffered on the cross. He was pierced for MY transgressions. He took MY sin and bore it as His own. He paid MY debt.

His death on the cross was horrific, but Jesus experienced the greatest suffering of all when God turned his face from Him. He even shouted from the cross,

"My God, My God why have you forsaken me?"

Jesus felt what it was like to have God forsake Him, and that suffering, I will never experience.

No, I'll never know this kind of suffering... because of Jesus. He bore that for me, so I wouldn't have to. Things have been hard, but God is always with me.

I was recently looking at pictures from our trip to Whitestone right before I started ICE.  We were seeking the Lord so much and wanting answers so badly. We were scared and nervous about what was before us. When I saw this picture, I noticed soemthing new and these lines from the song immediately popped in my head.

"I'm standing here beneath the shadow of the cross, 
I'm overwhelmed that I keep finding open arm."

Do you see the shadow of the cross in the upper right hand corner?!The shadow of the cross, right there to remind me that I will never have to suffer like Jesus suffered! What a sweet reminder of God's love for me.

There have been times on this journey when I have felt like God had forgotten about me, but He has not!

So be thankful for the incredible gift that Jesus gave to us. He bore our sin and suffered so that we don't have to. We can spend eternity in heaven instead of being separated from God. All we have to do is accept the gift and live for Him! This, my friends, is the best news of all!

Happy Easter everyone!

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