When launching this blog with “why I started writing lyrics,” I referenced three CaringBridge posts by Tom Carpenter. Tom wrote them days before he died and below is the first one in its entirety.
I pray that his words will exalt Christ and be an encouragement to you.
“I am so thankful that nothing takes God by surprise. God knew what was going to happen to me and set in motion all of the components that led me to deliverance from my most recent desperate circumstances.
I found myself in the dark of an early Friday morning crying out to God to help me. If I said, ‘God help me’ once, I said it a hundred times. Half of my body was dead weight to me. I could not drag myself out of bed, and I was much afraid. I could not bring myself to have the attitude of St. Paul to be ‘thankful in all situations.’ I only knew I needed help and I was alone in the dark. But, then I realized that I wasn’t truly alone. God was right there with me and knew everything that was going on in my life right then. My human emotions still overtook me because, regrettably my faith is often weak.
God did help me when friends, who are like family, got me to the hospital. God helped me when doctors and nurses almost immediately began to minister to my needs, and learning as fast as they could what was wrong with me and how they could cure it. God helped me when caring, learned physicians quickly realized that surgery was necessary and most imperative. God helped me by allowing me to be put in the hands of the most skillful and able doctors to perform surgery at the exact moment when my life could be dramatically and irrevocably changed. If not for the insight and precise abilities of the surgeon I would be a victim of paralysis. I did not know how truly desperate my circumstances were, but God did. God heard my cry and He did help me. There are still struggles ahead for me, and I do not know how I will bear up under them. I only know that God will be there with me in pain and in pleasure.
God will be with me in spirit and in faithful friends to encourage me, pray for me, and help me along the way, wherever it may lead. That way, that path, that road, if it leads to eternity with God, no matter how hard or difficult the journey may become, will be worth it if we keep our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith. I do not present myself as a source of great biblical wisdom, or a practitioner of prodigious faith. I am, at the heart of it, a wretched sinner saved by grace who is only worthy of God’s great mercy through the willing sacrifice of his son Jesus Christ. Why God has such great love for us, only He knows. It is beyond human comprehension. God is with us in our joy and in our pain, when we rejoice and when we suffer. It is hard when life goes against us and we cannot see God’s greater purpose in allowing some hardship to come upon us. But God has not forsaken us, and his greater purpose will always be revealed to His eternal glory.
May I, or none of us who claim the name of Christ, (not) lose sight of or forget that all things work together for the good of those who are in Christ Jesus. May God be forever praised, amen.”
Have you cried out to God in desperation? If so, how did He strengthen you?