Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
This was not my scheduled blog post topic. But I am convinced that the following tragic story has something to say to us all, and something this worship community can identify with and stand alongside.
We know that joining together in true worship paves the way for the breakthrough of the truth of who God is, his unchanging nature, his ultimate goodness even in the dark valley. We know that worship is our powerful weapon when we witness the clash of two kingdoms – the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. Worship changes atmospheres. Worship brings the presence of God to bear in dark situations. Worship gives the King his rightful place.
The following story tells us that worship for everyone is not just for the good times. Worship in everything is not just when things are going well in our individual circumstances, in our families and in our churches. And worship through everything, as this one family has demonstrated, is breath-takingly and deeply challenging. This family’s testimony is that in everything they have sort for God to be glorified. They have pleaded for the life of their young son but they have done so from a place of deep submission and self-denying worship.
On 23 October 2012 6 year old Caden Beggan contracted meningitis, leading to septicaemia. Sadly, his legs and part of one of his arms were amputated in the race to save his life. He battled many medical conditions associated with the awful injuries he sustained. Every day his dad David updated thousands and thousands of page followers on facebook with information on how Caden was doing and in doing so, as he shared his own pain, he bared his soul as a worshipper of God. May I encourage you, when you finish this article, to read the incredible daily posts recorded on www.facebook.com/cadenbeggan.
Tragically, on Tuesday 20 November 2012, in the arms of his mummy and daddy, precious Caden Beggan passed into the presence of his Heavenly Father.
I have never read such beautifully crafted, heart-rending and honest posts as these from Caden’s family. But each and every one – even David’s psalm of lament on Tuesday 13 November 2012, worships the Lord Almighty who sees and who knows. We are given a very privileged window into the heart cry of a father for his child and from a man who knows what it is to be laid bare before his God.
And God hears.
And we don’t understand it all.
And the world has been watching.
But we are not God.
In Scotland, many newspapers, radio stations and the BBC news website have been following this story and the remarkable outpouring of compassion and empathy, love and prayers that has followed.
My own children are of an age (10 and 12) where they know that ‘bad stuff’ happens. I have shared with them the Beggan family’s songs of lament to the Lord, because their worship, from a place of abject weakness and powerlessness, illustrates the power of God to lift and sustain the bereft and mournful ones. And I wanted my children to pray for Caden as part of our worship together as a family. This is part of our discipleship.
The Beggan family knows what it is to worship on the mountain top and now, in the valley of aching and grieving. And, as a result of their very public journey unfolding, I see a uniting of goodness awakening in our nation today. Tens of thousands of people continue to follow the facebook page. There has been an outpouring of compassion. A desire to speak well and bless the Beggan family, whether the person giving this voice has a strong personal faith or none. In the midst of an evil, inspid, hateful disease which pains the Lord to see, I truly believe God is moving in ways we may not yet understand, to bring glory to himself and to draw people to him. In the outpouring of goodness and mercy we see the hand of the Creator as it is a reflection of his all-consuming goodness in the human beings he so lovingly created. We are his workmanship.
And we were ALL made to worship.
Worship For Everyone – In Everything – Through Everything.
This Article: In memory of Caden Riley Beggan 29.09.06 – 20.11.12
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord You never let go of me
And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles, but until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth
Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You
‘Oh No You Never Let Go’ lyrics by Matt Redman. © 2005 Thankyou Music (PRS) (administered worldwide by EMI CMG Publishing, excluding the UK and Europe, which is administered by kingswaysongs.com)