Tears splashed my face as the words of Even If . . . washed over my heart at a funeral this past Sunday. What a testimony in song at the memorial service for Cheryl. Our church had witnessed a four-year graceful cancer battle fought by this soft, gentle young lady in our midst. Her faith had never wavered; she knew God could, but if He didn’t—- well, it would be okay . . . (if you haven’t heard these words, click here for the song and the story behind it . . . ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHosmHnOrb8)
But can He save us from the fire, from the storms of life we find ourselves NOW? Will He? Do we trust Him . . . Even If. . .? Often there is someone who walks the journey with us, protecting, guiding, leading by example.
Years ago, I heard the expression, “a velvet covered brick”. A book on Christian leadership, published in 1973, used this phrase. I didn’t read the book, but immediately, it became my definition of Tom Suiter. Picture that—a hard brick—secure, strong, covered by softness.
For fifty five years, this man has protected me, has corrected me in firmness, has shaped me. Now, as we are walking through the greatest crises of our lives, I notice the soft covering has grown thicker, while at the core he is more secure, solid. I love the definition of a covering. . . “something laid over or wrapped around a thing, especially for concealment, protection, or warmth.”
As he is covered, so Tom protects me. His covering is his faith, his life message. Years ago, he chose Psalm 71:18 as his life verse— “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare Your power to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come.”
So this Friday, June 14, I will celebrate this strong force of protection. I cannot imagine that he has lived three quarters of a century—and most of that with me 🙂 I wanted to use this blog to honor Tom on his 75th birthday. He continues to show me daily how to stand firm on The Rock.
How do I continue when I am afraid of the darkness. When there is no answer. When there is no hope of restoration of the losses within the family. When the break is unmendable. . .
My brick stands firm and strong—protecting me even against myself, ever wrapping me with gentleness and tenderness. Normally a brick would sink into the deep abyss, buried below layers of pain and heartache, but this one. . . my physical covering, keeps afloat . . pushing me to the source of his strength. . .
I listen to the song again—Even If . . .
I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I will confess my faith has been tested, almost shattered; yet, Tom holds me tenaciously so I will not sink. And I ask, would I stand firm without him. I want to believe that I would, that I can. There are promises in Scripture that I –that you— are covered, that we are protected. “But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You.” Psalm 5: 11. What about Psalm 91:4? “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge. . . ”
Faintly comes a whisper; it came to me again in the night: “I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down or relax my hold on you. Assuredly not.” Hebrews 13: 5b, Amplified Bible.
May we each find assurance that Even If . . . whatever happens . . . when there is no answer. . . we are held, supported, protected . . . in the only possible Hope. . .