Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Photos from different years of my California family

I believe there are two kinds of passion in our world today.

The first is routinely found in our culture. It does not necessarily begin as passion, rather it is borne over time, through the pursuit of an interest which at some point, graduates to lust, then obsession.

It is an unquenchable thirst that one strives to continuously plan for, or orchestrate circumstances to pursue. It does not bring fulfillment for more than a few moments, and then the cycle begins anew.

Those who know me or have heard my testimony, know that I used to ride my racing bicycle, religiously. I began doing so during a time I had been diagnosed as 'clinically depressed.'

It began as my ticket out of a zip code (or state of mind) I did not want to reside in. As I found the endorphin rush that this activity brought, my depression lifted, but what settled in was an unhealthy pursuit.

I began to plan for my daily/weekly rides, both alone and with others. I logged thousands of miles a year. I was strong, fit... and arrogant. My passion for this sport drew in disciples, who also began to pursue it.

The promise of physical fitness through an activity that brought endorphin release, camaraderie, stress relief, etc, seemed logical and harmless.

Perhaps, if not for my obsessive personality, it would have been.

However, while this tuned my body, and in some respects my mind and emotions, it became my salvation... and its promises were empty of truth.

I see many pursuing activities or hobbies just like I did. I still have to hold myself in check when I find joy in an activity.

Empty promises in our world are not new. They do seem to be cloaked in half truths, that elicit a willing response to take a bite from the poisoned apple. Too soon, we find ourselves under its spell, and unable to break free. It begins to drive us, rather than us being in control and using it in healthy fashion.

The second and truest passion is birthed in the crucible of suffering. This passion stirs hearts and changes lives.

This passion reveals itself as we come to the end ourselves and allow Christ to be "all" in us, to us, and through us.

The suffering that produces this life change, can come in many ways. It is different for each believer, though there may be similarities from one to another.

The fulfillment that results from this passion endures. It does so, because it is born of Christ, His example and His word. There is no substitution that can come close to this.

What is truly amazing is that one can be amid the worst storm of life, and find peace that others cannot comprehend... until it is their turn in the crucible.

That does not mean it is easy. It certainly is not something one wishes into the life others. However, when we cling to Him as our only hope in such times, we learn how we then should live, and He stirs and transforms others lives because our example is a result of His.

A current example of this can be found in my California family.

My young cousin Tadee (she is the little redhead in the above pics) has been ill since last fall. Her sickness requires the body of Christ come together to lift her up. Many across the country have been doing so.

She has been diagnosed with Lyme Disease and some accompanying co-infections. These have taken a slow toll on her health, and precipitated a little girl who the medical community have been unable to find relief for.

The diagnosis came slowly, and differing opinions about her circumstances or infections have produced an impossible situation, where different doctors stand against each other.

While the medical community has tried to sort out her illness, she has grown weaker and been racked with deeper and more abiding pain. The sparkle in her eyes has been dampened through multiple visits to hospitals, specialists and searing bone pain.

Through it all, her family continues to point others to Christ. They have learned to lean on Him in ways their years of ministry had not taught them. They continue to elevate Him and care for others, though their own situation seems dire.

They were already believers who were doing Jesus' ministry.

Right now, they are clinging to Him, as they seek answers and comfort for wee Tadee.

Would they have chosen this path? Who would?

Yet, their faith has deepened, their witness multiplied and the glory they have brought Him reached beyond what they believed possible.

I am blessed to call them family! I am thankful for the way they seek Christ and point others to Him. Yet, my heart breaks for how desperate Tadee's situation is.

She is miserable and finding little to no relief from her plight.

Please pray for Tadee! You can keep updated from facebook at the "Love for Tadee" page. Most of the updates are done by Marla Schmaltz, her mother.

All else fades away as foolishness in times of such deep need.

Passion is a blessing from above. Developing the gift as He would desire requires denial of self on a daily, moment by moment basis.

Let your passion be for Him. Magnify the Lord with me. He is worthy, and ALL of our hope is found in Him.

Nothing else is worthy of our time, energy, effort, attention, or pursuit. He alone is where our identity, value, and worth is found.

Lord God, PLEASE bring healing to Tadee! She is yours alone. Chris and Marla are stewards of your child, and are doing ALL they know how to love and encourage her in a time that she has seen little relief...yet, YOU are the reward. Hers, theirs and ours. Please, let others see this, and bring rest and recovery by the power of your Holy Spirit.

Lord, be glorified in Tadee's suffering, and that of your body!

As BJ put it:

"God glorifies us when we suffer
To have glory, you must suffer
To bring God glory, you will suffer
To suffer brings God glory"

While they are not worried about glory for themselves, they do need rest. They need relief. They need to be drenched with your presence, anew. I ask you to bring them what only you can give, in the Name above all names...Jesus!

dad (cousin)


At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Brent, I needed the Kleenex box beside me while I read this to Ray. We had just come home from Marla's and seeing Tadee and the pain. We sure appreciate your concern and prayers as well as everyone's. Aunt Maralyn


Post a Comment

<< Home