I Will Still Love You

I Will Still Love You
Words by John Fischer
Music by John Fischer, Dan Russell and Victor LeComer

You can give me everything
Or take it all away
Make the sky above me blue
Or you can turn it gray

To stream song, click on picture.

To stream song, click on picture.

I will still love You
I’ll still love You
I will still love You
I’ll still love You

You can leave me in the dark
Or help me understand
You can make my dreams come true
Or You can change my plans

I will still love You
I’ll still love You
I will still love You
I’ll still love You

You can be my sunny day
Or turn it into rain
You make a miracle
Or You can bring me pain

I will still love You
I’ll still love You
I will still love You
I’ll still love You

So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good.

A true believer and follower of Christ learns, over time, to rely less and less on cause and effect as a means of understanding what’s happening to them and the world around them, and more on the worship of God. It’s a gradual process of re-education.

Cause and effect is pretty much the way we all start out. It is a factor of the old covenant — part of the law of sin and death. If you do this, that will result; if you do that, this will result. If you are good, good things will happen to you; if you are bad, bad things will happen to you. Consequently, if bad things are happening to you, you must be doing something bad; if good things are happening to you; you must be doing something good.

This is the way we all start out. And so Maria sings to Captain von Trapp as they fall in love in the silver Austrian moonlight, “Nothing comes from nothing; nothing ever could. So somewhere in my youth or childhood I must have done something good.”

It’s really a beautiful statement of grace. Her mind is telling her cause and effect, but her heart is telling her something else. The implication is that she knows she hasn’t done anything to deserve this, but she’ll take it anyway.

It’s exactly what happens to us with God. “The wages of sin is death” — that’s cause and effect — “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23) — that’s grace. The gifts of God operate outside the law.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1). The Spirit sets us free from cause and effect. With God, something does come from nothing.

But once you know this, the other can happen, too. Bad things can happen to us that have no reason or explanation. They just happen, and if we’re getting it right, we learn to love God anyway.

Eloise as a puppy.

Eloise as a puppy.

My wife likes open doors and open windows. We sleep with our French doors open, even when it’s 45 degrees outside. That’s what she likes. Open windows; open doors. At least up until two nights ago at 7:45 when a coyote actually stepped into our bedroom and made off with one of our three Chihuahuas. I heard the dogs barking profusely — their standard behavior when a guest comes to visit. I got up to go see who was at the door just in time to see the unwelcome guest racing out of our home with our sweet Eloise in his mouth, shrieking for all she was worth. It was a sight and a sound I will not soon forget.

I have been profoundly affected by this tragic incident and believe me, God has heard from me about it in no uncertain terms. In fact, our BlogTalkRadio guest last night gave me the opportunity to express myself perfectly over this unfortunate happening. Our guest was Dr. Ramon Presson, licensed marriage and family therapist, on our show to talk about his book, “When Will My Life Not Suck?” I asked where that title came from and he said that he got it from a story about a women’s Bible study in an upscale neighborhood outside Nashville, where the leader was asking study questions, and the women were methodically giving all the right answers, when one woman raised her hand and said out of nowhere, “When will my life not suck?” — you can imagine the tenor and reality of that Bible study session dramatically changed at that point.

I have to admit, it was therapeutic to have the permission to use that word on our show, because I told our guest the story of what had happened to our dog, and then I declared out loud, with full-throated passion, “Now that sucks!” It felt so good because it was so true. There is absolutely nothing good about this. Oh, I suppose you could say the coyote got fed for a day, but that should have been by a wild rabbit from up in the hills where it belonged, not our dear Eloise, who gave us nothing but unconditional love and loyalty for eight years — who was so attached to Marti that she would sit on our porch if Marti was gone, and stare down the walkway until she came back, whether it was for a minute or a day. That’s how he filled his belly for a few hours until he’ll get hungry again and come back for our other two. There’s only one thing you can say about that, and I’m sorry if this offends you, but THAT SUCKS!

Our Christian therapist guest totally agreed. And when I asked him what his counsel would be on this, he told me something quite profound that I pass on to you. He said, in times like these, we need to realize that answers don’t heal; presence does. For all those “Why?” questions we can’t answer, we have the presence of God. When bad things happen, we have the presence of God. When life sucks, we have the presence of God. Even if we knew the answer, it wouldn’t help much. We don’t get answers, we get what we really need, the presence of God. (And I must interject here that often that presence comes in the form of another human being who sits with us and kicks at the darkness, like Ramon Presson did with me last night.) And I guarantee that we’re talking about a God who agrees with me about a wild animal taking a beloved pet. He thinks that sucks, too.

So we learn to say, finally, in the good and the bad: “I Will Still Love You.”

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. (Job 1:21)

For the full effect, I suggest you listen to this Catch. See above.

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2 Responses to I Will Still Love You

  1. Kathy Boren says:

    John, I had to sob over the loss of your precious Elouise. My heart breaks for you and your wife, and yes “THAT SUCKS BIG-TIME”. I feel so angry it happened. I want to hit something. Dogs are a special kind of creature, and I hurt with you in your grief and sorrow. Thank you for sharing your story, as horrible as it was for you to experience. I feel less alone in the sucking things I am going through in my own life.

  2. Grace says:

    I know I love my dogs so much so sorry for your loss!!
    Hugs and prayers from Texas. If we were there I’d hug Marti’s neck and ask her to tell me some fun stories about her baby. Sammy and Ringo send kisses too Sammy would be licking Marti and trying to calm her spirit while Ringo would paw her and bark asking for tummy rubs. I just don’t get things like this. Like when my client Mary was in the hospital battling some issues with her chemo her dog desperate to find her and get to her dies trying to get out of the crate. Just gut wrenching like her troubles aren’t big enough now she’s missing her daily cuddle bug.

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