On Christ, the Solid Rock

Over 40 years ago, I attended my friends' wedding in a field outside of town.  My friends had been sweethearts for a several years.  Ray and Charlene were older than me, but not by much, and I was 16 at the time.  As Charlene walked down the aisle, the song "On Christ the Solid Rock" was sung.  I thought it was strange at the time, and that the song added a sadness to the proceedings.  Though I never asked them, I assumed I knew why they had chosen this song.  Ray had gone blind - complications from diabetes - and he had been disabled by a stroke.  At the time, I worried for their future.  Charlene had promised to marry Ray, and she wouldn't abandon him now that he was ill. They were in their late teens and their lives were already complicated; but they were happy together, and weathered the storms of ill health until Ray's death a few years later.

Yesterday morning, I woke up with that song running through my head, and I latched onto the second verse:

When darkness veils His lovely face
I rest in His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand.

HD is the veil that is hiding His face from me right now.  I don't often feel His presence, but I try to rest in who He is, and His unchanging nature.   So many of the people I have "met" on the Facebook page Huntington's Disease - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly express the same feeling of alone-ness and numbness.  I don't allow myself to succumb to the feelings of panic and despair.  I try to live a life of balance, which often means keeping feelings about HD and Lacy's struggle from bubbling to the surface.

That need to not be overcome by emotion means that we don't allow ourselves to feel the weight of this disease, but it also results in a certain amount of detachment in all areas of life.  In other stages of my life, my relationship with Jesus has been emotionally and spiritually active, but I find myself now leaning on what I know rather than what I feel.  I don't always feel close to God, but I know He is right beside me.

Occasionally the clouds part, and I see His hand.   It is at these times that I feel His love and my heart is filled with gratitude and joy.  Sometimes it is in response to the works of others; my friend Jennifer and her husband, David who helped us buy those recliners for Lacy.   Sometimes the veil is lifted by Lacy himself as he interacts with us like his old self, laughing and smiling, and allowing us to touch and hug him.

We consider it a gift that we have this solid rock to lean on when all around us is dark.  I am learning not to depend on what I feel to be certain of God's love.  It's a life-long process.  The anchor of God's faithfulness holds regardless of the storm around us.  The darkness may hide Him from our sight, but it cannot hide us from His presence.


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