...will reap with songs of joy
His story here is very interesting to me as there are a couple of points that match the experience of my wife and me. Sue has also had a time when she experienced so much physical pain that she somehow left her body and looked back on a herself. Like Nabeel, she doesn't know how that works - but it happened. Also, when we lost our son it was extremely hard. We were both Christians but at that point we could conjure up no strength from our belief to make us defeat the pain. However it was at that point of extreme anguish, when we had nothing left, that we experienced God's comfort - this is what Nabeel also talks about.
I remember us both kneeling beside our son's little casket at the Undertakers and just committing him & the whole awful experience to God. We both felt his presence envelop us as we knelt there - we mentioned it to each other afterwards. It was palpable. We hadn't expected to feel anything. But he came and kind of enveloped us in his arms - we felt it.
We were both devastated at his death. I didn't know it was possible to feel so much pain. I remembered photos of Hiroshima after the bomb had been dropped and I realised that was how I felt inside - not a thing was left intact, nothing was left standing, everything was destroyed. I couldn't have done any make believe about God if I wanted to - I had no strength left. But he came to us and encouraged us both. We both had vivid dreams and one or two other experiences that were from God.
I will tell you about one of mine.
I had a dream one night. I was carrying my dead baby boy along a path through a forest with Pines & Rhododendrons. Jesus came walking down the path towards me. He motioned that I should hand him my son. So I did and as soon as he was in Jesus' arms he was alive! Happy, smiling, full of life. I was so happy I reached out to take him back. But as soon as I did so he was a cold, blue, dead baby again (I think holding your own dead child is perhaps the saddest thing in the world). Then I realised that if I gave him to Jesus he would be back alive as long as I left him with Jesus. If I held onto him he would only ever be dead. There was nothing I could do for him. So I slowly and deliberately handed him back to Jesus and he was alive and happy again!
I knew I had to leave him with Jesus so he could be alive. So Jesus turned around holding the baby and walked off, back up the trail to heaven. Where our son is safe and happy. I don't need to hold onto my failures as a father to protect him. I don't need to hold onto a dead child. He is kept in heaven for me - for that day when we are reunited.
I put all this here because although I may not understand all the reasons for suffering & death I do know that Jesus holds all this in his hands and that one day my tears will be turned into joy. I know that. So I know that - while it is very easy to be stoic about another's pain - Nabeel's suffering and the suffering of those who love him, will one day be turned into joy. I know that.
Won't you please join with me in praying for Nabeel to be healed and his family to be comforted.