I had a great post ready for today - it's a funny story of dinner at a friends house the other night - complete with great pictures... however, it will have to be delayed.
In the last 48 hours some things have happened to people that I know and love that have forced my emotions into extremes.
The good first. Some friends of ours from church were pregnant. She was due in the middle of March, however, on Tuesday of this week - the little girl was born - 8 weeks early. There were lots of fears about her lungs, her heart, even her stomach when she was born so early. However, this little 2lb 15 oz girl was born strong. She obviously still has a long way to go before she leaves the hospital - but amid many prayers of the people at our church - she has the doctors confused. What a Savior we have.... that He would touch the small body of this little girl and show doctors that sometimes they can't explain miracles. We rejoice with the family of baby Allison!
Second, there is pain in the life of my family. We have a family friend, Terry.... he is literally a part of my family. He has spent more time in my parents house than me, Jon, and Jen in the last 15 years or so. He was a groomsman in my sisters wedding, an usher in my wedding, and will be in my brothers wedding.
Last May, Terry's youngest brother - Scott was taken in a fatal car accident. Scott was only 20 years old (approx... I don't know his exact age) and this was obviously tragic for the family.
Yesterday afternoon, I got a call from my mom. Terry's other brother - Jason - who was my sister's best friend through high school - was taken home as well. His father found him in his bed yesterday morning. Jason was the "funny" guy as I remember from the days he and Jenifer spent so much time together. He was always laughing, smiling, making jokes. I never saw him get down outside of the death of his brother last May. What a reality check it is for those of us left here - - that there are no promises of tomorrow. The Hall family is hurting right now. I called Terry last night, but what do you say? As he answered the phone, I started to choke. I could only come up with "you know I love you, and Ronnie and I are praying for you." I can't say "I understand" - because I don't... I can only pray... and love from the distance of states away. I want to go be with my friends - I want to be with my sister during this time that she is hurting. I want my brother to be here - Terry is his best friend.... I want to be there for Terry - he is trying so hard to be strong... I can do nothing. Its kinda funny how we feel that we need to be there for people - when in reality - even being there will do nothing to help other than support. I guess it is just one more picture of why we need people in our lives. People that love us - people that support us during the painful times....
I am rambling... mainly because I still feel that I don't know what to say to Terry, to Jenifer, to Terry's family, or to Jonathan...
In addition to this death so close to my family. A public figure in Alabama, Rick Burgess, of the Rick and Bubba show on WZZK - lost his three year-old son in a drowning accident the other day. I just watched the sermon that Rick gave at the memorial service for his son on youtube. You can link to my sisters blog if you would like to see this. You can also search it on YouTube. It is about 30 minutes long - but is a passionate cry to the believers to quit being wimpy Christians, and realize that we are to be Warriors. I do not want to begin to try to deliver his sermon. He said it all so well. However, one phrase sticks out.... he is talking about teaching his children to be Warriors for Christ - that is so much mroe important that being educated, being talented, or defining yourself through worldly success... His reason was that in that moment, when he was told that his son had passed away - he was able to cry to God - not in anger, or shaking his fist and asking "why" but he could say - "If it costs my son's life, so that people will not perish in eternity - then It is well with my soul." Wow..... that is all I can say. Please connect to watch this 30 minutes sermon - it might change your life. For me, it put things in perspective.
So, within 48 hours - life so prescious, and death so real, and faith so strong... I turn and wonder - what is my response Lord? Do I have the faith of Rick Burgess and his family. Would I be able to turn, in the face of tragedy, and say "It is well with my soul?" Would I be able to turn my pain into a call to battle for the warriors of God? I may never face the pain that Terry and his family are facing, or that Rick and his family are facing. To be honest - I don't WANT that type of pain in my life - who does? However, I do want to be able to say that I lived my life making an impact, that my life, however long it is, made a difference on this planet. This will require being rejected. John says that "In this world you WILL face tribulation" This is not a "maybe" It is a definate. The great thing is what follows "But do not fear - I have overcome the world" Wow - that is a promise! I want to hold to this promise. I want to be able to look at the unbelievers in the world around me and say - "No - I can't do this on my own - but my Father can!"
Please join me in prayer for my friend Terry - and his family. Please join me in loving my friends - the parents of baby Allison - and rejoicing with them... and please join me, in joining the battle to which Rick has called us all.... to use the events in life to show the world that Jesus is real and that He is the only way to make it through times like this!