The Bright Sadness: Lent Week 7 March 30, 2015

Join us each Wednesday through the season of Lent. Each week we’ll stream a free Ed’s Story film and follow with reflections to guide our thoughts for the week.
The Bright Sadness series has come to a close as of April 6, 2015, and while the film is no longer streaming for free we invite you to watch a clip from the film below. You can rent or download this week’s film, Ed’s Story Healing, here.


In order for us to believe that something is true, we usually have to see it. If someone tells us that they’ll do something, we expect to be able to see or in some way experience the fulfillment of their words to us. We tend to expect the same from God. We often approach him with the same “seeing is believing” mentality.

It helped me understand that as much as I would like ALS reversed, it’s not the most important thing. The most important thing is under God’s grace.

When Jesus was fasting alone in the desert for forty days, the Accuser tempted Jesus with a similar “seeing is believing” challenge. The Accuser said to Jesus, “Throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” (see Matthew 4:6.) At its core, the temptation is to demand specific behavior from God.

I have developed a prayer for ALS. The blind man calls out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.’ So that’s my prayer. And I pray that for others: throwing yourself at the mercy of God, not demanding what he should do, but following his mercy.

Throughout his ministry on earth, Jesus taught us over and over again that God doesn’t respond to demands; he responds to humility, desperation, and pleas for his mercy. He responds to broken hearts. When we throw ourselves at the mercy of God, we begin to see his heart for us. We become less preoccupied with getting what we think we want, and we’re set free to truly encounter the heart of God as we come to understand the mystery of the way God works and moves.

[Ed] was challenged years ago by a pastor friend in town who did healing services in his own church. But he told us about people who didn’t get healed. He said, ‘Don’t become obsessed with healing. Get lost in the wonder of God, and who knows what he’ll do for you.’

Jesus taught us, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) The Greek word for “poor” describes those who are desperate—who have to beg for everything they get. Nothing comes easy. They are the ones who get to see and experience the kingdom of heaven, revealed here and now. Those of us who are “poor in spirit” see and experience the resurrection of Jesus here and now because we are desperate for it—truly throwing ourselves at the mercy of God until we find it, asking God to show us the resurrection of Jesus in our lives every day, knowing it may look differently than what we might expect.

I think you focus on God and your relationship with him. I think you seek forgiveness of others and you develop gratitude in your own life. Healing is more than a cure. It’s wholeness with God, with others, and with yourself. That’s healing, to me.

Are you willing to let go of you think God should do for you?
What makes that so difficult?



  1. Bill Pickel • April 1, 2015

    Ed's story and insight of why God allows suffering has been a source of encouragement and understanding for me. I suffer from years of abuse from my parents which left me with emotional and mental struggles. I am learning that true value is a relationship with Christ and is far greater than total healing. I am the beggar Ed has talked about in this article, the poor in spirit. Reply

  2. Dave Groenenboom • April 1, 2015

    It has been a while since I have had any contact with Ed, or since I viewed the earlier work on his story. Having just seen this latest clip, I find myself deeply moved by Ed's presence of mind. I put that down to God's presence in him. I love the embodiment of Ed's own words: 'Healing is more than a cure. It’s wholeness with God, with others, and with yourself'. God spoke to me through your words in this clip, friends.

    Maybe in this time of weakness God's grace and power are being seen most wonderfully. That is his promise.

    Much love, Ed, and strength to you and yours.

    Dave Groenenboom, Perth, Australia Reply

  3. Margaret Machlan • April 1, 2015

    Thank God you for the blessing of meditating on God's mercy and wholeness...as different than a cure. As I grieve my father's upcoming death, and watch many people struggle with chronic pain, I realize how small my own struggles are. Reply

  4. Shelley Jing • April 1, 2015

    Thanks for all those wonderful video. It touched me and my fellowship. Especially the Video provide Chinese subtitle. It helps us a lot. Reply

    • Joel • April 2, 2015

      There are subtitles in the video in Chinese (simplified) and many other languages. Reply

  5. Tricia Segar • April 1, 2015

    God has been renewing my burden to pray for Ed and Lorna and seeing this film only renews my desires to know and be caught up in the glory of God through my own disease. How precious these dear saints are to my soul and how they have impacted my life for eternity, God only knows. All my love goes out to them and I thank Flannel for the professionalism and beauty in which they have presented Ed's story! Reply

  6. Gaitha • April 1, 2015

    Mercy....we remember. A physical death comes to everyone. Even those Jesus healed died later. My prior husband died in his sleep without experiencing any pain since the nerves stopped functioning as well as the muscle groups during his bout with ALS. Mercy...God's love endures. Reply

  7. Vivien Buchanan • April 1, 2015

    Yes, I want to let go of what I think God should do for me. I believe what makes it so difficult is my stubbornness in holding on to what is dear to me i..e. family and friends. I have been so dependent on others all my life that it is difficult to let go of what I know. God is so big in a vast world and I am so little, I cannot get my head around it., the idea that God takes me by the hand as he has so many hands to take. I've never had much of an imagination. but I do trust God even when I cannot envisage God taking me by the hand. Reply

  8. Becky Kidd • April 1, 2015

    Thank you Ed. I have been living with ALS for 3 years. I so believe how you talk about being healed versus cured. This journey for me has been about living in God's light, resting in his grace, loving and reconciling with all around me. Thank you so much for this! God Bless you! Becky Reply

  9. violette • April 1, 2015

    I am sorry to have missed the subsequent episodes (the prior 6).
    Can you send me the links or help me how I can view Ed's lenten messages.

    My husband is dealing with cancer and believe this could be of real encouragement.
    Though he is on the one before the final chemo treatment, I believe he could benefit greatly from the series.

    Thank you and God's continued blessings, Violette. Reply

    • Julie • April 1, 2015

      Violette--the previous six posts will stay up on the blog through the rest of the week, you can find links to each one as you scroll through the main blog page http://edsstory.com/blog/

      We pray you and your husband are encouraged and comforted. Reply

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