Thursday, October 30, 2008

Deanna and Lauren preparing the bride (Whitney)...

Recently, a 14 year old young man came forward at my church to give his heart to Christ. He had been through a great deal in his life, as he had open heart surgery three different times.

He came forward declaring his love for Christ, just one week before he was to undergo his fourth and final surgery to correct issues of the heart. His small stature and glasses reminded me of someone.

His family traveled to St Louis to have his surgery. The surgery went well, and high hopes abounded for his full recovery.

As sometimes happens in such cases, complications began to surface. These brought the family and their son to a place of significant testing... a squeezing of their lives.

How would they cope, what would be the outcome of their journey?

Week after week I read their updates. Daily they gave glory to God and proclaimed their undying faith in the One who could heal. A handful of times, I wrote on their wall. I felt I understood their situation, and wanted them to know that we supported them, and were lifting them up.

Last week, as we were experiencing the first marriage of one of our own children, they were in the throes of deep darkness.

Early on, I had forwarded their updates to my bride. About three weeks ago, I stopped doing so. I stopped because the words were met with my own understanding in a way that was not easy to tolerate. The pictures in my mind from the descriptions offered up were far to familiar. I knew the sounds, I knew the whirs of machines, I knew the crush of emotion as they tried to make sense of all that was happening... trying desperately to be hopeful when little hope was being offered by the medical staff. I wanted to protect her during this time when she needed was carrying so much, already.

I continued to read and pray, but I confess that my own path had led me to a place of unique understanding. One I did not want. One that seemed as if it would end with a similar refrain.

As we celebrated the joining of two lives into one, this family was enduring the loss of their only son. He had gone home to be with the one he proclaimed as Savior and Lord. No doubt he was greeted with open arms. The love of a mighty God was there to usher him into the presence of the Spotless Lamb.

He is home. He is at peace. His heart is fully healed. The heart of his family is broken. Yet, this family did nothing but praise God everyday as they wrote of their journey. The know where he is. They would not steal him back for selfish gain. They understand eternity.

Many have said to us, "I could never do what you are doing."

The longer our journey continues on from August and September of 2005, the more people we see who CAN do this. Never is it by choice. Always it is a walk of faith. Every time it has been parents who love so deeply and embrace so completely a love for God that supersedes their own pain and loss.

None of us ever expect or hope to endure such chasms of grief. Each of these families we have met along the way have one thing in common. They are being carried by the Christ. They are also loved by a Father who gave His one and only Son. He understands the pain. He allows the abiding love His Son to assist us in overcoming our circumstances that we might point others to Him.

Perhaps none would choose this path.

Perhaps we experience the love of God in ways that are unique.

Each of us find ourselves drawn to serve in a way we didn't before. We have a sense of purpose that we did not realize prior to the trek or the loss.

We are so incredibly thankful to serve a Savior that sees fit to meet each of our needs in such unique ways. His role is to tend to issues of the heart. He does so with complete healing. Things do not always end the way we would like, but they do bear the fruit of His glory, if we put Him first.

We never know what may happen tomorrow. We must learn to be faithful today.

Bring glory to the One who is the only one worthy of it.

He loves you and cares for you. He is there to walk with you through your own situation.

No matter what the circumstances, Praise Him, He is worthy.



At 10:24 AM, Blogger Marti Pieper said...

Father, I lift up this precious family, the Magers family, the Higgins family, and all other families who hurt today because a child has gone home before his parents. You know their pain. You care for them like no one else.

My Lord, hold them tenderly in Your arms and remind them that You are also holding their children. Come to them as their Comforter, Healer and always-loving Father. Love them with Your everlasting love.

in Jesus' mighty name I pray,


(with tender love
and prayers in pink for all)

At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen & God Bless,
Greenfield, Indiana

At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen Marti


Post a Comment

<< Home