Monday, March 30, 2009

I Will Rise

They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. (Psalms 20:8)

Dee and I went to a Chris Tomlin concert last night. We knew it would be good, but as the Lord has been known to do, He took the opportunity to speak directly to my heart. A few years ago during a Nicole Nordeman/Casting Crowns concert at the same arena, He took the opportunity to share with me that time was very short for my Dad and that the road ahead was going to be very difficult, but He’d be there. A few days later I found out that my Dad had Stage 4 cancer and that he only had a few months to live. The next few months were as difficult as foreshadowed - but as He promised, the Lord helped carry us through.

On this night, another one of those moments came right before Chris’ latest song I Will Rise as he shared that his grandfather had passed away three days earlier after his own battle with cancer. Chris had sung it for him a few months earlier, and his grandfather, his hero, asked him to sing it at his funeral (the following day). Chris mentioned that he didn’t know if he’d be able to, as he then proceeded to sing the song with a renewed meaning in both of our hearts. As I’m sure his mind drifted off to Texas in thoughts of his grandfather, mine drifted off to New Jersey in remembrance of my Dad, recalling all the difficult trials at the end, and yet being able to say “all is well” due to the incomparable work of the Savior.

Although the night was getting late, when I returned home from the concert I decided to turn on the computer and check out Chris’ Blog. I read all about Chris’ grandfather, and was saddened to hear that Chris had missed his viewing that night, and had only a few short hours to get down to Texas to make it to his funeral. I proceeded to lift up a prayer for Chris – in thanks for honoring his commitments that weekend, for safe travel to Texas, and to have the courage to sing “I Will Rise” one more time for his grandfather.

I was all set to call it a night, but at the last minute decided to click on Chris’ Little Rock video clip from the night his grandfather died. Towards the end, Chris mentioned how his brother turned on the radio soon after hearing of his grandfather’s passing, and “I Will Rise” began to play. Tears filled as I recalled the Lord doing a similar work for me a few years earlier when Father's Love came on the radio right before my Dad’s viewing. I knew it was the Lord’s hand then, and even more so now – as He picked me up from my lowest low, and helped me ‘rise’.