Published Nov. 5, 2013

Paul's Epistle...
"In Good Hands"

No one ever wants to hear the words, "Our ultrasound tests have found a mass on your right kidney. We need to do surgery to remove it."

But that's exactly what singer/songwriter Phil Cross' doctors told him not long ago after a routine physical exam. Phil underwent surgery last Thursday, and we're told the tumor was successfully removed and most of his kidney was spared.

Phil's perspective on this situation – which he related to me several weeks before the surgery – was interesting. He said, "I'm praising God for this season because I'm getting to just feast on the fact that the songs that I've written for thirty years — the lyric of trusting God, knowing He's big and knowing He's the champion — all that's just true. And so I just wanted to tell everybody [about the health issue] because God is getting glorified in this thing."

That's the truth of Romans 8:28 — "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Indeed, God is glorified when His children live their faith by trusting Him entirely — and watching to see what He will do.

Phil was thinking about the previous generation of Southern Gospel music singers who have passed on to Glory when he told me, "Now is the time we're kind of becoming it. We're going to hear of Phil Cross having a health problem and Tracy Stuffle having a health problem and Aaron Wilburn having health problems and it's going to happen – these old earthly bodies wear out... We're going to need you to pray for us and we're going to want you to, and we know you're going to... We want to thank you for loving us like you do."

(Indeed, this is a difficult season for Phil financially, too, as he's basically off the road for the rest of the year to recover. Please keep that aspect of this difficult time for him in your prayers, too. )

There's a long-time advertising slogan for an insurance company that says, "You're in good hands with...." (you know the one). Knowing Phil was facing surgery and an extended period of recovery, two of his well-known songwriting friends – Dianne Wilkinson and Rebecca J. Peck – got together to write a reassuring song for Phil (and, for that matter, for any Christian facing such trials). It's called, "I'm In Good Hands." (And these "hands" are much better than those of any insurance company!)  Ponder these lyrics:

Though he made majestic mountains, spoke the stars into space
He formed me and He loves me, I'm a child of his grace
There is no situation out of his reach
With one touch my gentle Father overwhelms me with peace

I'm in good hands, I'm in good hands
I can trust the Great Physician and the wisdom of His plan
I don't have to know the answers, I don't have to understand
God is holding me securely, and I'm in good hands

I am in my deepest valley, yet I am not afraid
He leads me and he keeps me, I'm walking by faith
I still have His promise, my God will provide
All I need to face the future, yes, I know, He will provide

No trial can keep my Lord from me, I'll never be alone
When I am down he lifts me up, I'm weak but He is strong

Isn't it great to know that, as Christians, we can rest fully in those "good hands" of the One who loves us so — today, tomorrow and forever.

- Paul

*"I'm In Good Hands" by Dianne Wilkinson & Rebecca J. Peck, recorded by Phil Cross, lyrics used by permission.
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