As Leah and I sit here in one of Riley’s Family Rooms waiting once again while Beckett undergoes yet another operation, I am reminded of a song, recently brought back to my attention by a friend of ours, titled “Hallelujah”, by Leonard Cohen. It was made famous by many, but particularly to the younger generation through Rufus Wainwright. One of my favorite renditions of it is from an artist I’ve liked for a very long time. His name is Phil Wickham. I’ll provide the link at the bottom of this post and strongly recommend listening to it if/when you get the chance. It’s very genuine and raw, and appears as if it was simply recorded with 1 take in a random hotel room…I love it!
I’ve actually always wrestled with the phrase “cold & broken Hallelujah” in that song. It forces me to wrestle with what it can even look like to sing a “cold & broken Hallelujah”. Now, I’ll clarify that this song is not “gospel truth”, but it is art, and if you allow it, it can make you wrestle with deeper issues like the one I want to present in this post.
As many of you know, I believe in a God. I believe in one God…“the” God. And even those few sentences are a huge turnoff to many of you following Beckett’s journey. But I must plead for those of you who disagree with my beliefs to please hang in there with me and to not take your encouragement and support away from Beckett because of this disagreement. I truly believe Beckett still needs and wants all of our support! I am not so dogmatic to belittle anyone who believes different than I, but I cannot bend in my values and beliefs. With that being said, I believe in the Bible, and I am not deceived to trust in its infallible nature. I do wrestle, however, with scriptures like 2 Corinthians 7:4 “In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy” or Romans 5:3 “we rejoice in our sufferings” or James 1:2 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds”. What do we do with passages like this? Are we to just smack a smile on our face as we are beaten, broken and run down? I don’t think so. But I do think we can sing “praise” and “hallelujahs” with a troubled spirit knowing that our “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”. Nowhere in scripture does it say that we can get what we want with enough prayer. I think the key phrase to pull out of that last sentence is “get what we want”. What a selfish phrase that is. People like to use the passage Romans 8:28 “that for those who love God all things work together for good…” But what does “good” mean? What we desire? I don’t believe we aren’t suppose to ask for the desires of our hearts, but I do believe we are to follow it with “but Your will be done” as a sign of our trust in His sovereignty and complete control. Romans 8:28 ends with “for those who are called according to his purpose”. I think that is where we are given a glimpse of the definition of “good”…”according to his purpose”. I am constantly reminded of Job’s story where he lost nearly everything…his wealth, ALL his children, his health…yet he gave God the glory. How is that possible? Job 1:21 says “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Take note, he says, “The LORD GAVE, and the LORD has TAKEN AWAY”, not Satan, or evil…God did. I think back often to December, before Beckett officially joined us in this world. I believe that if God would have given us the option to choose a smooth journey as opposed to this challenging one we are currently right in the middle of (even knowing all the good that has truly come from this situation and will continue to come from it) we would still choose the smooth journey. Right? I’m weak. I’m closed minded. And I’m selfish. Even if God is doing greater things through this struggle, my heart bends towards what is easy. I believe this is where “the rubber meets the road”, especially in my prayer life. I beg God daily to preserve Beckett’s life, but I believe my ultimate priority is to know God fully. A close second (a very close second) is Beckett and my family, but again, my priority is to know God and worship him fully. I think we can, in a genuine spirit, cry out “hallelujah”, even in the midst of confusion and heart ache begging God to help us embody a healthy perspective and understanding of his control and purpose through our calamities.
Since this post has taken me so long to type, we’ve actually already now received news that Beckett did GREAT, no glitches, with his cardiac cath!!!! That is awesome!!! We are so thrilled, and now continue to just take another step forward in this journey. Truly One.Day.At.A.Time.
Phil Wickham – Hallelujah
— with Leah ‘Whiteley’ Rupp at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.
I don’t know Leah or you, but I do know one thing,that I love your relationship with our Savoir. I pray for Beckett daily and love this boy like he is my own. I had twins 29 years ago that were born at 27 weeks gestation and my little Jamie went to be with the Lord but the fight was on with Jessica. She weighed in at 2 pounds and was in the hospital for a long 72 days. I remember some of the things that you and Leah are going through. On and off the respirator, chest tubs and many of the same things that challenges Beckett. The one thing that we didn’t have during that time was Jesus. I am so thankful that Beckett has you two as parents, what a testimony he will have to share with the world when he gets older. The one thing that assures me that Beckett will get well is the verse in Isaiah 53:4 that says”But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Jesus promised that by HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED. So that is what I hold on to is that we ARE. I pray that you have a blessed day today.
Praise God! I agree with you completely! Continuing to pray for Beckett! God Bless you! As someone not in your situation, I admire your faith in God. Though, I have had many trying times, and heartbreaking losses in my life. God was then and will always be my strength and hope! It’s amazing how through Christ you can love someone and not have even met them. You are truly a special family!
Amen and amen dear ones… there are no words. with love…nicole
Praise be to God! So thankful to Him for answer to prayer over Beckett’s successful surgery!! We will continue to pray as always!
Jonny, Your faith is amazing. Our God is able to do all things that we pray for but as you pointed out we have to accept that the end result is what is in His will. We are unable to see the big picture of God’s plan so we must trust in His decisions. We continue to pray for Beckett’s healing and strength and peace for you and Leah always trusting in His will.
Hallelujah…hallelujah…singing with you that Beckett came through the heart Cath great. (love that song, too!) Your ODAAT always reminds me of an old time song, way before your years, but the words are wonderful…”One day at a time sweet Jesus…I’m only human…Lord help me today, show me the way, one day at a time…”. Praying fervently for your precious family.
I prayed for u on wed..I am actually glad U r at Riley..would love to come visit. What floor r u on?? I might have some friends there caring for Beckett from my church and who I went to Haiti with..
You are in our heart and prayers. Max Lucado wrote a book I strongly recommend called “He Still Moves Stones.”
Leigh & Jonathan,
Evangeline & I have been following your daily blogs on Becket. This is an important crossroads with his life. Don’t question in the dark what God has given to you in the light. This is not a time to question God. We need to trust Him more. If we do all we can & God takes him home, it will be difficult and painful, but this will be God’s decision not ours. Stay the course, God is with you and He knows your emotional heart and Becket’s physical heart.
It is going to be ok because God is in charge!! We pray for you daily.
Sam & Evangeline
Sent from my iPad
Yes, yes, YES!! Praise God for your love and understanding of our Father. 🙂 We serve a mighty wonderful God and He does love Beckett more than you and He is holding him in His hands. We are to ask and knock and continue to ask for things with God’s will in mind. Moses changed God’s mind and He also talked to Him as a friend. We also have this privilege because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.
I might be able to give you a thought to chew on about this joy business Joy is a choice not just a feeling. Jesus in Gethsemane found joy in the cross and the suffering that was to come on Him. Hebrews 12:12 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Suffering produces character and a deep work in the heart which allows us, if we choose, to become more like Jesus. Jesus knew the joy in suffering not because of the suffering itself, but because of the work that would be done to Satan and how He would conquer the evil one and win the war.
Praying and praying for all of you.
Owen had his heart cath today too. This one in prep for the third sugery (the Fontane) which is scheduled for May 29th. You three are often in our thoughts and prayers as we once more enter into this realm of doctors and hospitals and tubes and beeping machines…
Jonny, if I didn’t know that you are a young man in your 20’s, I would imagine you to be a very old gentlemen with a lifetime of experience with the Lord when I read your spiritually mature thoughts you have shared with all of us. I see two cars in your driveway this a.m. and as always, causes me to lift you and Leah and Beckett up in my prayers. I kept the latest picture of Beckett and still believe he is the most beautifulf baby boy I have ever seen. I love the little wrinkles in his arms…and oh, those eyes! God surely decided to give him an extra supply of outward beauty to match what is sure to become reflected in a beautiful, wonderfu young man in God’s own time. And He certainly must have a blessed future ahead for both you and Leah. Be strong and take courage knowing how many are being blessed by your strong faith. Your neighbor, Doris