Sunday, July 15, 2007

Travis, thank you for taking the time to write. My name is Brad and I am BJ's uncle. His Mom and Dad (Deanna and Brent) will return from Peru later this week. They are serving there with the ministry BJ had visited it with (Awestar) and among other things, visited a school that now carries BJ's name -- something I know Brent will be sharing about soon. I hope you know that this blog family will be lifting you up in prayer as you work through the deaths of two loved ones. Your story has stirred so many thoughts....

It is easy for us to try and bury ourselves in other things to avoid having to deal with the reality of life -- maybe more so in trying to avoid dealing with death. I know that I am personally guilty of this and that I became "very busy" when my Father was diagnosed with cancer shortly before his death in 1994, finding an abundance of things that needed to be done just to keep my mind and body occupied. In many ways I have remained "busy" ever since.

Losing your Grandmother is difficult, losing anyone that you love is. Having multiple losses lumped into a short period of time compounds your ability to grieve either satisfactorily or fully and I think makes seeking escapes even more likely. Your friend was so young and there is an unnatural element tied to losing someone when they are young, a greater sense that it isn't fair - especially when it is something like cancer. My words can't make this season of your life easier but the whispers of your Heavenly Father can bring peace and understanding to your heart . Keep listening actively, He often speaks when you least expect it in ways you won't anticipate.

Our Father understands your anger and hurt, He truly does. You will experience so amany emotions as you go through this time and innocuous things can trigger them. I pray that this time of grief can also be a time of healing for you -- ask the Lord to help you see the fruit that this situation can bear and know that He is there to carry you at those points where you feel you can't take another step.

Death is an ugly thing and is a direct result of Man's unfaithfulness to God. I don't mean that he struck down your loved ones because of something they did, I mean that we die because Adam and Eve chose to cast aside the instructions given by their Creator and Friend, and as a result of this, sin and death entered a perfect creation.

Ironically, death is a victory for those who love the Lord because they get to go be with the Savior. I understand exactly when you say you are jealous of BJ because I have struggled with this too - many of us have. For families that know the Lord I think this is normal and again, something that God understands. We have been blessed to see how the Lord is using BJ's life (and death) to bring honor to Himself, something many do not see clearly when they lose someone they love, yet we still grieve greatly at times. We still miss him and always will. We talk to him at times like you do your friend and Grandmother, I have even written to he and other loved ones that have gone home to be with Jesus.

And they are Home. So are your loved ones if they had a personal relationship with Christ Jesus and I pray that they did. His word tells us that we are aliens in this world (I Peter 2:11) and I believe that one of reasons we are jealous is that we know they are Home with Jesus in Paradise, and it is our Home too if we are faithful to Him - and we long to be there with Him. Let their battles, their lives inspire you to honor Him and serve Him, so that you can go Home too when it is time.

Just as knowing the story behind the song ("I Would Die For You") makes it more real and effective as a ministry tool, the story is God's story and is repeated in so many ways in Scripture and in life. Isn't it interesting how life is like that; anytime we can truly identify with something it speaks to us in a deeper way -- the same way that God's Word seems like foolishness or just so many words to the non-believer, but becomes water in the desert when the heart is truly searching and open.

Loving Father, embrace Travis and all of those hurting because of the loss of ones that we love, those who are improtant to us and yet more important to you. Thank you for understanding our grief; the anger, tears, hurt and pain. But Father, please don't let it overwhelm us, but let us grow through it and draw closer to you. This world tells us that a loving God would never allow these things to happen, but it is because you love us so much that you gave us free choice, not wanting the allegiance of automatons. Our choices have let so much pain and hurt into the lives of those you love, yet you love them -- you love us. May we truly, truly love you back in a way that makes a difference in your world. We come to you in the name of your son Jesus Christ,



At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen.....Travis there are many praying for you.....


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