Monday, February 25, 2008

When Life Ain't Easy

It was 5 am on Friday morning when I got the phone call from a friend - he was calling from the hospital. Their son had just been in a truck fire and was hanging onto life from his hospital bed. I got up and was at the hospital as quick as I could. As I drove I prayed. What do you say at times like these?? Often you don't say a thing, you just be there and give hugs when needed. I had never been in this type of situation before. Just before Christmas I had witnessed a mother holding her son in the ditch right after an accident - he had already passed away - her son was the same age as mine. I had thought then, "God, why her and not me? Why her son and not mine?" Well this morning at the hospital, little did I know that I would be meeting a teacher who taught with this mom and God would give me an opportunity to share my heart of my experience through that difficult day. A bittersweet blessing.

We don't always make sense of God's timing in our lives or in our kids lives. What can we do at those moments when things just don't seem to make sense? Hold on to God for dear life and personally, as hard as it is, what other option is there but to trust God to take us through those dark valleys.

You know I had only met my friend's child once a couple of years ago. When your kids are older and don't always attend the same church or are not in the same circles of life, you don't always know that much about the family of your friends. In our Bible study groups we often pray for each other's kids and talk about them, but that's about it. So that's how it was with this friend. What a blessing it is though when you have a group of friends or a Bible study group that you can pray for each other. God had brought us together for such a time as this.

So, I had stopped at the hospital a few times that day, to stand by my friend's side and to support and pray as much as I knew how. I didn't always know how, it was something that I hadn't done before in this type of situation. But it's amazing how God gives you strength and the ability to do the things which He calls you to do. It was such a privilege to walk through this dark valley with this friend, as difficult as it was and as sad that it was. At one point, when Roger and I were there together, they asked us to come in with and pray over their son. I had never done that before either. God is amazing at how He prepares us for these moments where it would just not be humanly possible to do something like that on your own strength. Even though it's so difficult, it's amazing to see how God is at work through these times. Tyler had been on life support since he was brought into the hospital. His one brother was down in Texas and would not get in until late that night. But it was like he waited. In the evening, his vitals kept going down and down, but when his brother got there and started talking to him, they just jumped. It was like he knew. But then they plummetted again and mom said, "It's okay Tyler, you can go now." And you know what? He did. It was like he knew his brother needed to say good-bye and he needed his mom's blessing to leave and be with Jesus. God is so amazing!!

The funeral was on Wednesday. God had it all worked out that my girls would be asked to sing a song at the funeral. Alysha had been working on this piano song for a good month now -- she was playing it completely on her own. She had just gotten a new book and had seen this song and just started playing away. She knew it quite well. Kyrstin also knew how to sing it because we had sung it in church many a time. So, when the question came up if they would sing and play at the funeral, we knew just the song that God had in mind. The girls had never done anything like this either. The only other funeral they had been at was their grandfather's 5 years ago. They were quite nervous and it was quite difficult for them to practice together without fighting. The day of the memorial, they were practicing at church and just fighting and crying. I held up my hands and said, "God, there is no human possible way that this is going to work unless you intervene. Please be the song that comes out of Alysha's hands and please be the voice that comes from Kyrstin's lips because they cannot do this on their own. You gotta work through them and help them. Please Lord." I was frustrated and thinking that this had been a big mistake. God had other plans in mind.

The Memorial service was beautiful. A teacher shared, a mentor shared, an aunt and uncle shared on behalf of the grandparents, and then the brothers shared. After the sharing, Pastor Russ gave an incredible message of how God loves all people and how He loved each one of those people at that Memorial - even the rough tough dudes that don't like to step inside a church. There were not many dry eyes after the sharing and the message of love. Everyone there needed to hear that message. Then came these two girls, these two angels, to sing to the hearts of all these souls that had just heard the message. And you know, God was in Alysha's fingers playing the piano and God was in the voice that came from Kyrstin's mouth. It was beautiful! He did it just perfectly. The mike wasn't working but Kyrstin didn't flinch and she sang her heart away for God. I had told the girls during the sharing that God was at work in all these hearts through all these messages and that they were going to finish this message for Him through the song. They were missionaries that moment, sharing the love of Jesus through song. This was the song they played and sang:

Above All

Above all powers, above all kings,
above all nature and all created things;
above all wisdom and all the ways of man,
You were here before the world began.
Above all kingdoms, above all thrones,
above all wonders the world has ever known;
above all wealth and treasures of the earth,
there's no way to measure what You're worth.

Crucified, laid behind a stone,
You lived to die rejected and alone.
Like a rose, trampled on the ground,
You took the fall, and thought of me,
Above all.

You know, they didn't do it for themselves or for their parents, but they did it for our friends and for God. It wasn't a performance, it wasn't a show - it was a message from the heart from the angels of the Lord to the hurting souls in that church. God amazes me. He is so worthy beyond our comprehension. His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts. He is amazing, steadfast, loving, forgiving and comforting. He is everything to us and He'll take our hand through anything here on this earth as long as we let Him. Won't you let Him today?? He's waiting for your invitation to be a part of your life. He wants to bless your socks off but He also wants to walk with you through the difficult valleys of life here on earth. He wants nothing more than an intimate relationship with you. It's the best place on earth to be, in the arms of our Loving God, in the security of His Wings, and the shelter of His Promises. Thank you God for loving me and everyone else.

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