Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Leg of His Journey

He was a good man -- thoughtful, gracious and easy to be around. He was adventurous, creative, vibrant and fun. And now our dear friend is gone. His valiant battle with cancer is over.

It happened only days after the Women's Breakaway, where I had shared the details of how Ted and I had ridden a roller coaster of health issues last summer, hanging on for dear life. In the most frail of moments, we had clung to our faith and surrendered to God's bigger plan -- whatever that would be.

For Ted and I, things turned out far better than we anticipated. We found ourselves receiving amazing answers to prayer.

For our friend, this is not what we thought would happen. He was only 49.

Yet it begs me to answer once more, can I trust God to be God? Can I surrender again into the hands of a Loving Father who has a bigger plan that we can't see?

Again, it's time to dig in with my deepest roots that keep me strong. I call out to God, telling Him of all that boggles my mind and burdens my heart. I surrender and rest in Him because He is Author and Creator and the way the story will unfold is for Him to decide.

I devote time to reading God's Word and I preserve some quiet time to listen for His wisdom. I trust in Him for comfort and refreshing. My hope is in eternity where we will see our loved ones again and walk with God in a new world of splendor beyond human description.

And the Comforter comes near, once again. My mind opens a bit wider to let in more Light. The Holy Spirit brings peace into the most perplexing situations; Love shows up in our darkest hour; and Hope appears in the midst of our emotional pain.

Our friend will live on in the hearts of all who had the blessing of knowing him. While we will miss him deeply, he has inspired us to live with that same courage, humility and grace that he and his sweet wife have so beautifully demonstrated.

Now he has gone on to a new leg of his journey. As Christ-followers, we don't grieve like those who have no hope (1 Thess. 4:13-14 NIV). Our earthly lives are only a small segment of the journey -- a temporary separation -- in the face of forever.

Heavenly Father, great is your love toward us; your faithfulness endures forever. (Ps. 117:2 NIV) You are omniscient, and you have the greater good in mind, always. We will fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Cor. 4:18 NIV

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