A few years ago I was sitting in a hotel room in Los Angeles looking out over the night time lights of the city. I don't remember why I was so deep in thought. I just remember thinking about life and what it's all about.
Without much warning, I was given to know that the gulf that separated me from God was wider than I'd ever before imagined. The thought was so real and so heavy, it was like someone just took the breath right out of me.
Fortunately, another powerful message was delivered right on the heels of the first: the distance is also more passable than I ever before imagined.
To say it was an emotional experience is an understatement. The experience was as real as any I've ever had and taught me more deeply than ever before that the "good news" of Christ is both sorely needed and absolutely true--even beyond what I'd ever considered.
In a world that too often seems bent on its own destruction, the good news of Christ is simple, timely, and refreshing. What is this good news?
The good news is that there is a way to find peace, happiness, and joy in this life and in the world to come. The good news is that we don't have to settle for disappointment and heartache or loss. The good news is that God sent His Son. Some people call this the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whatever you call it, it's good news because it means there's a way to cross that impossible barrier that stands between us and God.
Real happiness and joy is what God is all about. But death and hell try their best to keep us from that joy. The good news is that Christ has the power to save us from both death and hell; in other words, Christ has the power to carry us accross that impossible distance that separates us from all that is worth living for and striving for.
I've learned for myself, independant of all the ancient scriptural accounts and modern witnesses of countless men and women, that Christ is real. I've experienced first hand His incomparable ability to heal deep emotional wounds, console aches I thought were too deep to touch, and make burdens light that I thought might very well crush me.
I know that problems, pain, and challenges of every kind can make you go weak in the knees and doubt yourself and God. But I also know now from experience in some intense fires that no problem or challenge is beyond His capacity to reach and to provide rescuing help.
He is called our Savior because that's what He does.
Only someone who has died for us and paid such a heavy ransom for us could possible love us so unconditionally.
I testify that He lives. I promise that He has the power to bridge that impossible gap. In fact, He has already done it!
I'm so grateful to Him for literally saving me and filling me with hope and joy even in the midst of life's turbulance.
Talitha continues to inspire me (and many of the medical staff) with her resiliant spirit and ability to do hard things without becoming hardened. She's quick to forgive the inflictors of pain and anxious to find positive things to do rather than sulk and be miserable. The collection process takes 5 hours each day and she has to be relatively still so that the bundles of lines connected between her and the machine don't get overly tangled or kinked.
She had a joyful visit from her siblings tonight after she was free from the tethering lines. She laughed and played and let them "walk" her around the little room back and forth. (She's not allowed outside her room because of the contagious C-Diff bacteria she has that must not be allowed to come in contact with other immuno compromised patients--see explanation of C-Diff in Tali's Medical Stuff Glossary on the right hand side of the blog.)
Day 4 brought a harvest slightly less than yesterday's but still enough to keep her here another day as the doctors fight to collect enough stem cells this round so she doesn't have to do this again after chemo round #3. She's about at the 87% complete mark.