Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Learning to praise you in this storm...

Sometimes it's so hard to fathom God's ways.  I know His ways are higher than our ways, and His intentions are for our benefit and His glory, still some days are so very hard.

For months I have been praying for a young man, Eddie.  He was 24 and diagnosed with lymphoma.  He endured months of chemotherapy, lost his hair, lost a lot of weight, found out who his friends were, and those who were not, found that prayer is powerful, found a Savior, and was baptized.  He told his Pastor he wasn't afraid, he knew where he was going, but was worried about his family.  He lost his battle on Monday.  He is in a better place, he is out of pain and free of all the things irritating him from all the toxins in his body.  A young girl in our church says angels are singing welcoming songs and dancing with Jesus is occurring.  Out of the mouths of babes....  Still I can't help feeling sad, and a little disappointed, and my heart is so very heavy.

For more than a week prior I had been reading verses pertaining to healing, and reading devotionals that gave me hope, and yet, Eddie still went to be with the Lord and left a hole in the hearts of many.  I wonder why the Lord lifted my hopes, only to dash them in a little over a week.  And I fear there are others close to Eddie who felt the same way.  How do you comfort them?  Encourage them?  Show your love for them?

Ironically the past few days have been near constant rain.  As if even the heavens are mourning Eddie's passing.  I find myself close to tears often....and forever reminded of Tyler who passed away a year ago last month.  Too young, so much potential, and both lives drew so many to Jesus, in the way that they met their illnesses so courageously, and spiritually. 

Today I was given a few verses...

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. (Psalm 55:22 NIV)

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Genesis 28:15 NIV)

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God! (Psalm 68:19, 35 NIV)

So thankful He bears my burdens...some days would be too hard if He didnt!

After months of praying for Eddie's healing, it now turns to prayers for comfort, peace and strength for his family and loved ones.  I'm still praying for the others who are sick and facing difficult challenges in our church and among our friends.  I'm also lifting those who have lost loved ones and belongings in the terrible storms that have marched across the Midwest and South.  I still believe his promises, even though I don't understand his methods.  

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV 

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