Christmas Eve Reverb: Everything's OK. What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?
Short and sweet. Christmas Eve is no time to sit around forever blogging. Listen to this message if you get a chance. On December 11, Gary Oliver joined with one of our pastors, Chip, to teach at our church service. Gary is an amazingly gifted author, speaker, therapist, husband, father, and most importantly, disciple of Christ. Gary has attended our church for quite some time and in the past we have been blessed to hear him teach a few times a year, but this year was different. Back in the early spring, I believe, he had a large portion of his tongue removed because of cancer and has had it somewhat reconstructed with grafts from his legs. For this reason, it is extremely exhausting for him to speak and it is quite difficult to understand him (if you listen, it make take your ears a few minutes to acclimate to how he sounds). Anyway, when I hear Gary speak it reminds me that everything's going to be alright. In the past decade he has gone from being a man whom anyone would look at from a distance and envy: nationally known speaker & author with a picture perfect family; to a man whose circumstances represent the deepest fears so many of us carry: death of a son, death of a wife, multiple bouts of cancer, loss of his ability to effectively use one of his most powerful tools - his tongue. If a man who has suffered the way he has is still able to live in the confidence and joy of the Lord, if he is still able to cling to the goodness of God, then I know that God can sustain me, too, no matter what trials He allows into my life.
I know it will be okay. Not because God will protect me from pain, loss, and suffering; but because He is Sovereign and has a beautiful plan to wipe away every tear from Gary's eyes someday. I can't wait to see that someday.
p.s. if you want to read more about the faith and journey of the Oliver family you can check out his late wife's journal (and some of his thoughts) here.