The climb up Mount Moriah

God told Abraham to take his one and only son whom he loved so much, and to go up the mountain to offer him as a sacrifice to God.  Abraham obeyed and went because he knew the character of God and knew of His goodness, mercy, love, and power.  He knew that God could even bring Isaac back from the dead if He so chose.

But what a painful journey that must have been for Abraham.  He had to make the climb.  He had to walk side by side with his precious son with the knowledge that God would soon be taking him away.  Their journey up the mountain took a few days, probably the longest and most anguish filled days of Abraham’s life.  Abraham was called a friend of God.  Yet here he was making a climb that would knowingly lead to his beloved son’s death.  And this was ordained by God.  Well…we all know how the story turns out…that at the very last minute God stops him and says that now He knows that Abraham loves God above all, and God provided a ram caught in the thicket to be slaughtered instead for the offering.

12:27 AM.  Here I lie in my bed with my daughter right beside me who is dying.  She is taking only 5 heavy breaths per minute.  She may not last through the remainder of the night.  My heart is in the greatest pain and anguish that it has ever known.  I think I can relate to what Abraham was feeling on the way up the mountain.  He knew that he only had a few days left with his most beloved son.

And so I too am climbing Mt. Moriah where God, the One I love who also calls me friend, has asked me to offer my daughter up to Him for His glory for reasons beyond my understanding.  And I know that God is loving, merciful, kind, and powerful.  I know that He has the power even to raise her from the dead should He so choose.  But, like Abraham, I too must simply trust Him for His perfect plan to be revealed, whatever the results may be.

I am ascending Mount Moriah and I know what waits at the top.  Unless He intervenes at the very last minute, it is very apparent that His will is to call my daughter home to glory.  Oh the anguish of my heart!  This might very well happen this night, I don’t know.  I don’t understand why this is the way He has chosen for Susana and us.  It does not make sense to me.

But here’s what I do know:  He is good!  His love endures forever.  Being called home to glory is the Christians final victory!  He is using this to bring great glory to His name.  Its certainly not the way that I would have chosen, but I’m not God.  He is.  And I am so thankful that He is.  For His power has overcome the grave.  My daughter will not be laid to rest.  She will rise and meet Jesus and be more alive than she ever has been.  How could any person who knows and truly loves Jesus ever stay angry at such a glorious truth?  He has purchased us by His blood.  He has made a home for us forever with Him where we will be made perfect.

Knowing these things does not lessen the anguish and pain that we feel at the reality of being temporarily separated from our precious daughter.  But knowing these things gives our pain purpose, and that makes all the difference in the world.  Knowing these things enables us to continue to testify of His goodness and grace even in our heart’s greatest anguish.

And that’s why, amidst our climb up Mount Moriah, amidst our anguish, grief, and tears, we can also worship Him and sing of His glory.  And that’s what we did tonight.  As we were told by the nurse that she may not last here much longer, I had a special time kneeling by her bedside and saying my goodbyes.  I asked her if she was ready to see Jesus and she nodded her head yes.  I held her hand and told her how privileged I am to be her Daddy and how now Jesus will be her Daddy who will love her and cherish her forever.  And then I picked up my guitar and worshiped.  Through great sobbing and tears, I sang to my little girl.  And this is what I sang over and over:  “Oh no, You never let go, through the calm and through the storm.  Oh no, You never let go, every high and every low. Oh no, You never let go, Lord, You never let go of me.  And I can see the light that is coming for the heart that holds on.  And there will be an end to these struggles, but until that day comes…Still I will praise You.  Still, I will praise You Lord.”  Yes, my voice sounded terrible through my wailing and sobbing, but I worshiped.  I gave God my heart and surrendered.  I declared His goodness even while seeing my daughter dying.  For I am ONLY able to do this knowing for certain that she will not die.  She will rise into glory, into the presence of the One whom we love and worship.  What grace He has given to His children.

And then we worshiped some more on our way up the mountain.  The whole choir from our church (about 50 or so) came to our door step tonight to bring worship to our house.  They all gathered by candlelight on our front lawn and then gathered around us and just sang worship songs to Jesus.  Maria and I cried so hard…and we worshiped.  We lifted our hands to the Sovereign One and we sang praises to His holy name.  Susana heard it from her bed.  And it was beautiful.

And so, perhaps we are only a few footsteps away from the top, or maybe still a stones throw, only the Lord knows.  The climb up this mountain has been the most agonizing journey we have ever had to take.  Both Maria and I feel like our hearts inside of us are literally breaking.  And yet we continue to hear story upon story upon story as to how God is being greatly glorified by bringing people closer to Himself and increasing people’s faith in leaps and bounds through using us and Susana as His instruments.  And both Maria and I both wonder how something that can cause so much good also cause us the greatest anguish that we have ever known.

And then we think of Jesus and how glorious His death was.  God was more glorified in His death than in anything else ever…yet the pain and anguish that Jesus and others felt was the greatest that they had ever known.  For the road to crucifixion with the sins of the world upon Him was certainly more full of anguish than any of us will ever have to bear.

And so, by His grace, we continue our climb, through both heaving sobs and lifted hands…

67 thoughts on “The climb up Mount Moriah

  1. I have never met you, but a friend shared your blog with me. I am praying for you as you are going through the biggest trial you will ever face. I can say I know what you are going through because this past Friday was the anniversary of the death of our youngest daughter. It has been 6 years since God took her to heaven. I know the days ahead will be hard, but remember God choose you to care for His precious child in her short life to bring honor and glory to Him. If you ever need anyone to talk to in the days ahead please feel free to contact me. I will be praying for the peace of God that will be even greater than you have ever imagined.

  2. Oh Sweet Precious Whittaker Family,
    We are praying for your Precious Family & Perfect Little-Susanna. As I write to you this night I am heavy in my heart, for my daughter Hannah & my loss of our wonderful White-Arabian horse who has passed away today. He has had a battle with cancer over the past 4months. He has been the most incredible horse for little-girls-he loved them so! I know if it were Gods Will to have horses in Glory, then our Sweet-Quincy will be ready when the time comes to ride your Susanna on the streets of Gold!
    Praying for the Lord’s Strength & Peace to carry you all these days!

  3. May the grace of the Lord hold you and your family. I was so touched of your words and realized what a great Jesus we have!!! You inspire me to reach out to those in need of Gods word. I don’t know you but I know your my brother in Christ and one day I’ll meet you. Blessings!!!!

  4. Oh how I hurt for you guys! I cry reading your post and can’t even imagine your pain. I have 3 children and my heart just breaks even thinking cancer! I have no words to even say to you other then I am constantly praying for you, I have my children praying for your family and for your sweet susana! I sometimes don’t even know what to pray other then to cry out and pray God comfort them! Thank you for being so strong in your love for Christ! Someone told me this once and I will pass it on to you. It’s not necessarily that God doesn’t give you more then you can handle, he doesn’t give you more then HE can handle.

  5. My name is Jessica, and I heard about your family through my sister who has been keeping up with your daughter’s story. I want you to know that I have been praying for Susana and that I have not been able to stop thinking about your family. As my 1 year old daughter lay asleep in her crib right now, and can’t help but wonder what it must be like to feel your pain. I honestly hope I never do. But if something like this were to happen to my family, I hope I would be as quick to praise the Lord as you are. Susana’s story has caused me to take a look at my own life and be thankful. Thankful for an energetic baby that shrieks when she’s angry. Thankful for a car that won’t start until the third time you’ve cranked it. Thankful for a husband that constantly leaves his clothes on the floor. I regret that I’ve ever complained about the things I consider problems. I know my story doesn’t heal your heart, but your story has quite frankly changed mine. Susana, you sweet angel, your sickness will never have been in vain. You are bringing glory to our Father, because He is using you to change hearts.

  6. i can not imagine what you are going through! I want you to know that I, too, have been touched by your blogs. The way you continue to praise our Savior even through the most painful experience I believe anyone could ever go through. You have helped my husband and I deal with our many struggles with our baby girl, and although I hate it’s under these circumstances, i appreciate your honest and praising blogs!

  7. Dear Cody, We are praying hard for you and your precious family, especially that His Love, Comfort, Strength, Peace, and Provision will fill your hearts and home. Thank you for your great courage to share with all of us during this time. Susana’s little life has touched so many and so has the steadfast faith of you and Maria. Isabela has a special place in our prayers. We rejoice with you and pray for the precious little one Maria is carrying. Know that you are thought of and prayed for continuously. May His Grace and Mercy surround you, Elizabeth

  8. Crying out with you and crying out to our Faithful God.
    May He hold all of you in His tender, loving arms.
    Peace, God’s peace.

  9. Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

  10. Through my experiences… I find it humbling and absolutely amazing that anguish and peace can actually be in the same sentence together, in the same thought process in our minds…together… How can that be? Only by the Grace of our Lord Jesus…He is the only one that could ever give us the Peace we truly can feel… in the deepest gut wrenching midst of our anguish. Oh not You never let Go, Lord You never let go of us! “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:7

    We sat by our sons bed for months as he was in a coma… God magnified the passage in 2 Corinth 4:16-18… I’m sure you have read it, heard it…. and I so know that this is your story, and there is no other like it. We truly only know the lives we live, the hearts we own that are breaking. I would never expect to say I understand… only that I believe… and God is an amazing God, who Loves All of you SO much! Peace to You. From a couple who just started attending Biltmore Baptist and just moved here, we continue to pray for you. Your Blog is amazing!
    Darlene & Tim Fleishour

  11. Sweet Jesus, be near! I don’t know you but am sitting here crying my heart out for your daughter – I wish there was something I could do. Anything to help take the hurt away. Praying for you and your Precious little girl. I just don’t understand……

  12. Hi Cody,
    You’ve continuously been in my heart, on my mind and in my prayers.
    Be Strong in the Lord Dear Servant of God! He is mighty and able to concur all things!
    Let me know if my friends & myself can help.
    We are confident and very willing to travel to see you or to meet you briefly by phone.
    My numbers: 1.270.988.2729 or cell #270.445.0343
    Keeping You Close in Heart & Prayer
    God Bless You & Keep You
    God Make His Face to Shine Upon You
    and Be Gracious Unto You

  13. Although I don’t know you personally — I’m praying for you and your family. I too have had a recent loss and grief lingers in my heart every day. I can say that God does in fact provide the ultimate in comfort and healing, something I truly never thought possible. Having heard about your touching story from my godly friends at BBC I will also lift you up in prayer and dedicated worship specifically for your precious one. I too will shout to the heavens in songs of worship to our almighty, all knowing God tonight during the music festival in Greenville, SC. I will ask for his help — to ease your pain, while earnestly praying for our blessed Lord to wrap your sweet Susana in his arms, and to ease the suffering for all who care for you and for her, all those that are heartbroken and in need of the understanding of his will.

    Lifting you up — all for you and His glory.

  14. I too do not know you, but your story of love
    and heartache is what makes us “love one
    another, because He first loved us. I pray
    that God will bless you with His perfect
    peace and that Our Holy Father God will
    hold your precious daughter in His all
    incompassing hands until she is in the
    very presence of God. My prayer is that
    you might feel the peace that God so
    mercifully bestows on us – the peace that
    is past our understanding. May God bless
    you and keep you. Forever! Amen

  15. I was sent the address to your blog almost three years ago. I still remember reading in a coffee shop and openly weeping. Although I have never met you, your daughter, or your family, you have touched my life and softened my heart. I pray that God continues to use you for his glory and I pray that your lives be blessed.

    Taylor Wyrosdick

Comments are closed.