Saturday, February 14, 2009

You Never Let Go

We were singing a song in church tonight that reminded me of Ronne's friend. It's called "You Never Let Go."

Her friend, David Lipscomb, is someone I don't know, but he is suffering and has been on my mind since Ronne posted about him on her facebook. He is suffering through a reoccurrence of pancreatic cancer that has also spread into his liver. The thing is, not only did this song remind me of him, but as I listened to the message tonight about being mad at God, he came back to my mind. I wondered if David was mad at God for not healing him - for allowing this suffering in his life at all. I am sure he has probably asked the big "why" question - we all do. But as I read Ronne's note on facebook about David's situation, something jumped out at me about him. She says he wants more than anything to see Jesus' fame spread because of his story. How incomprehensible to me this is! Of course, the fact that this is incomprehensible to me says a few things about where my faith is at, but that is for another posting.

I don't understand the "why" in situations like this. And to be honest, it breaks my heart and really tests the veracity of my faith when I consider the impact of suffering that happens in this world. Yes, I know that Jesus warned us that we would suffer. But why? I mean really, WHY?

To bring the question a little closer to my own experience: Why does he allow little girls to be violated by their fathers repeatedly? This is a question I have had to consider and answer in my family with, "I don't know." It's a helpless feeling to know that I have a supposedly loving and merciful God, but can't understand nor answer why this loving and merciful God would allow this to happen. I begin to consider that this God whom I love may not be so trustworthy after all. But then I also find myself in Peter's place when the Lord asked him if he too wanted to desert Jesus. He said, "Lord, to whom shall we go?" In other words, who else can we turn to? In reality, we have nowhere else to go. If we do, I haven't found that person.

I wish I could say that when I realize this, I run back into God's arms, but I don't. I kinda just stand there and stare (figuratively speaking of course) into God's eyes, knowing I have nowhere else to go. I do believe He is trustworthy. And that trustworthiness comes from His grace, forgiveness and mercy in my own life throughout the last 12 years or so of being His disciple. And plus, remembering the point of the song: He never lets go. I can't get away from Him and deep down, no matter the doubts, I don't really want to either. So I continue to believe, sometimes grudgingly, but I believe.

David, Ronne's friend, is an example to follow for me. The rubber has hit the road so-to-speak in his life in a hard way. But God seems to be drawing him closer to Him. And he is trusting Him and using his suffering to make Jesus known.

I plan pray for him and help them financially. I pray you would consider praying and helping him and his family as well. Below is the note from Ronne where you will find the rest of his story (as written by Geoff Moore) and ways to encourage and help them.


Friends,

As many of you know, I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working alongside David Lipscomb for the past ten years. We have shared many victories and challenges together as we focused our efforts on providing management and mentorship to artists and ministries. David has been has been a dear friend and a great source of encouragement to me. He and his precious wife Robi now allow me to do the same for them.

I reflect back on this time a year ago, when David received the news that he had pancreatic cancer. The journey through surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation was a long and difficult one. Throughout this journey, I have had the hard blessing of walking with my dear friend. I have seen first-hand the pain and suffering, but much more than that, the Herculean courage that he has demonstrated. David Lipscomb’s faith is the real deal. In those hard, quiet moments when, to be perfectly honest, doubt has washed over me, he has never, ever wavered. He may say otherwise, but I am an eyewitness.

A few weeks ago, the doctors confirmed David’s cancer had returned, and was present not only in his pancreas, but his liver as well. We would ask you to pray specifically that God would heal David in a way that would let him remain here with us. However, if God chooses a different road for David to walk, we ask that you would pray for peace and courage for the Lipscomb's. David wants most of all for Jesus’ fame to spread from his story.

I think most of us might have a hunch about the cost of fighting a disease like cancer. In fact, some of you have had first-hand experience. While I knew the treatments were expensive, I honestly had no idea just how financially overwhelming the illness could be. Though David has health insurance and has continued to work to provide for his family, living with this illness for over a year has devastated them financially. Co-payments alone for the doctors’ visits, treatments and procedures have run into the tens of thousands of dollars. The cost of medications is staggering. The Lipscomb's made the difficult decision to sell their home, and Robi is now working two different jobs in an effort to make ends meet. Unfortunately, David is now at a point where he will no longer be able to work while he battle's the cancer.

These are wonderful people who have given so much to so many of us. I ask you now to step in and give back. A special website allows you to give a financial gift to the Lipscomb's and share your personal messages of hope and encouragement. And there is good information about pancreatic cancer. It’s my prayer that we can all work together to help eliminate the medical debt they are carrying and provide financial support so that Robi can focus her energies to caring for her husband and best friend.

Most of all, by ministering to them financially, you help bring peace to an area that I know is a very real concern for David - that his family will not be provided for while he wages this personal war.

I would ask you to forward this email and link to anyone you feel would reach out to the Lipscomb family. I know many may receive it multiple times from different sources. I hope you will only see it as a confirmation that people are responding to this need.

Please give whatever you can, as soon as you can.

On behalf of these dear friends, thank you.

Geoff Moore
http://www.carefordavid.com/


1 comment:

The Christ Stumbler said...

Thank you. For your authenticity. For your transparency.

Thank you for sharing David's story.

-Ronne