Saturday, July 2, 2011

Acquainted with Grief

It has been a difficult week in the life of our church and my circle of friends...

"Why do the nations say, 'Where is their God?' Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him." Psalm 115:2-3

Every man has a god. Our actions reveal our god, because we become like our god.

The One True God is not an idol, or a figure carved of silver of gold by the hands of men. God Almighty "has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all" (Psalm 103:19). "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to [Him]" (Matthew 28:18). God's Word says, "I know the LORD is great, our LORD is greater than all gods. The LORD does whatever pleases Him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths" (Psalm 135:5-6). The LORD does what pleases Him, and brings Him the most glory. "...He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: 'What have You done?'" (Daniel 4:35).

"Do you ask where He is? He is at the beginning and end of everything, and not far from any of us." ~ Matthew Henry

Ours is a church acquainted with grief and sorrow and suffering. This week, all of those emotions surfaced on a grand scale again as God called one of His faithful servants home. While serving as a counselor at our church youth camp, this 22 year old friend finished the race marked out for him. Called "home" in the presence of many friends and students, and his beloved young wife, the ripple effects of this loss impact people here and around the world.

Humanly we want to ask why He would choose to take a life so young - one that was making such an impact for the kingdom. But that question, hard as it is, must be changed to why not? As we walk with Jesus, and become like Jesus, we will become acquainted with the things He was acquainted with. Isaiah 53:3 says, "He was...a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering." So today, there are ripple effects of sorrow and grief, but because we are a church that grieves with hope and clings to Jesus, and one another, there will prayerfully be even bigger ripple effects. Ripples that represent lives impacted for the cause of Christ as they bear witness to a full life, lived for an audience of One (Jesus). 

This week it pleased the LORD to very carefully orchestrate the homegoing of one of His children. He has made provision in so many ways - seen and unseen. He has given his wife and family strength through the truth and comfort of His Word, through the prayers of friends too numeroous to count, and carried them when they could not carry themselves. May God in His Sovereignty continue to use the life of this saint for His glory and to further His kingdom, especially on this day, as we gather to celebrate the life of Jacob Fowler.

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