Monday Tuesday to all!!! It is going to be a great week! I am super thankful every day that I have some folks that read my chicken scratchings here… and that they comment and support and do some things that help defeat this disease. And, it will be defeated one way or another.
My topic today came from an old hymn that we sang this week in church: “Love Lifted Me“, a mainstay in Southern Baptist and other churches for generations. The specific verse (3) that got me thinking was this:
” Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves;
He will lift you by His love Out of the angry waves.
He’s the Master of the sea, Billows His will obey;
He your Savior wants to be–Be saved today.”
So what is left of this week I will be discussing these subservient BILLOWS the song mentions, and some old hymns that use this term. Lots can be said…
To a Christian, the “Master of the Sea” that my little song above mentions, our Lord, is sovereign over every detail of our world, including what ails mom and the Sweet 17. Whether He caused or He merely allowed the billows of this stinkin’ disease to happen is unimportant for this discussion, but make no mistake about it, He is intimately involved. If there is one rogue molecule that is beyond His ability to subdue and/or direct, He ceases to be God and we are all spinning out of control. BUT, there are none.
So, what is a BILLOW and why does it matter to a dementia blog? How big of a foe are these billows that obey Him? I mean, we don’t even use such words any more in 2019. The guy that wrote “Love Lifted Me” was born the last year of the U.S. Civil War. He is surely out of touch with modern ‘Merica, isn’t he?
A billow, according to the beloved Merriam-Webster online version, is one of two things:
- a wave especially : a great wave or surge of water the rolling (billows of the sea)
- a rolling mass (as of flame or smoke) that resembles a high wave. Billows of smoke poured out of the building. (billows of fog)
While I suppose the first definition is the one the songwriter was clearly thinking of, I can’t help but to think of the second one as well. I think of Exodus 13, in particular, which speaks of a pillar of smoke by day and of fire by night that God used to guide the Egypt-Exodussing Israelites out of the slavery of the desert to the promised land. Smoke/fire billowed from whatever (if any) physical origin device God employed such that millions could see it and be guided. It must have been an amazing site! Then, in the next chapter, God parted the Red Sea such that these same millions walked on dry ground while the waters billowed on each side as they walked. Can you imagine walking on dry land through a carved out pathway? Could they see fish as in an aquarium on the billowed walls? What if a 3-year-old wandered over and felt the water? Surely it happened? BUT, these billowed waters obeyed. Then, when the last straggler (probably one of my slower, still chubby ancestors if I can be traced back to Jewish roots somehow via England and Germany later??) finally took the last step out of the double billowed path and with the very angry Egyptian Shock & Awe chariot-led troops crossing in the same path on their way to re-enslave them, God instructed the billows to release in a huge, deadly splash. Problem solved! The billows His Will obeyed time and time again. (Tomorrow I will discuss the walking on the water billows which may have been more what the songwriters had in mind.)
Thee billows, whether of water or of smoke/fire, had two things in common. They were stinkin’ huge and they powerless against a much more huge God! For those who feel and experience the devastation of dementia every day and for those who care for them, this disease is all-encompassing. The sheer numbers are awe-inspiring! It is huge and terrifying at times. The disease is, frankly, hard for many to even look at for most people (although 3-year-olds come right up to mom with no fear…), so many choose not to visit at all. It surrounds you like walled Red Sea water and threatens to take away your joy, your peace and your very faith. It is hard. Very hard. The- hardest-thing-I-have-lived-through hard. I am comfortable in saying that it is impossible for me to deal with… by myself. My only hope, and your very best hope: lean into the One who the billows obey and know that either He will protect you/your loved one from the foe or He will take them to heaven where no such foe exists. See, while He is huge…transcendently so, He is also near…imminently near. He stands ready and can and will help. Shoot me an email to email@example.com or call/text me at 417-955-2513. I am happy to tell you more.
In the meantime, until a cure/better treatments are found, let’s keep plugging along. Two weeks from Saturday is my Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Springfield, Missouri version. If you are interested in walking, praying for us, donating or the like, here is more info on that: LINK. Please, please find yourself a Sweet 17 if you have time and visit them and love on them. There are multiple times more with the disease than escaped through the Red Sea back in Exodus and they need you and your encouragement, and, believe it or not, you need their’s too. And, last but not least, do not fear, friends. Read the book of Exodus. Read Matthew 14 and Mark 4. Read Jonah. Read the Psalms. Just read the whole Book. 🙂 Billows, schmillows, butterfly pillows…I will stick with the One that billows obey any old day!
Update: Mom had a very good weekend again. All things considered (being under hospice care) she is doing quite well lately. Billows may come someday soon or they may be held back, we shall see. We will take it one day at a time and love her while we have her with us. Praying for a cure, but resting in the one who has the ultimate cure. 🙂
Note: Billows are not to be confused with bellows, which are the pump devices that we use to compress to get a fire to blow hotter. 🙂
2 thoughts on “Billows His Will Obey”
Such a beautiful face! Bless you all! What a great message you shared today! Thx Mark
Thank you very, very much Stacey! I really appreciate the encouragement!
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