Saturday, March 20, 2010

In the midst of Loss

This morning I woke up thinking about what happens today.  Today, my friend Kent is laid to rest.  He was a protector and nurturer for our family.  God used him mightily to be Jesus to us in so many ways.  I wondered what we’ll do without him.  I have faith that God is great and will sustain us…but I also know that God won’t violate free will…and people are somewhat (!) less reliable than they should be.  It’s not enough to believe in God.  Even Satan does that.  We have to believe God…believe He is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do.  I’m trying.  My prayer this morning boiled down to:
"I do believe; help my unbelief." Mark 9:24 (NASB)
Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3, Galatians 3:6 and James 2:23 all say that Abraham believed and it was credited to him as righteousness.  I do believe; help my unbelief.  God, help me to believe YOU and to not put my faith in people.  In spite of our human frailties and unfaithfulness, YOU are faithful. Amen
In my email box this morning was a wonderful devotional that speaks to my feelings today.  I share it with you in hopes that it blesses you, too.
The Anguish of Faith
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

"Do not hide Your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit." - Psalm 143:7b
Of all the biblical characters, David gives us a glimpse of a man who walked with God with great emotion in victory and in defeat. David never lost a battle throughout his many years of serving as king of Israel. In many of the Psalms, David often lamented about the difficult places where God had placed him. He talked of his enemies and the need for God to deliver him. He talked of God's everlasting love for him. How do you suppose David came to this understanding after years of being sought after by King Saul who wanted to take his life? His years of turmoil within his family gave him many reasons to lose all hope in a loving God.
David often began his Psalms in a place of discouragement and loss of hope. But he never ended one Psalm in defeat. He always came to a place of victory in God by the end of the Psalm. David always placed his life in God's hands, knowing He would care for him.
Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground (Psalm 143:8-10).
It is okay to feel discouragement. It is part of the process of grieving and working through those times of pain. But God wants each of us to allow Him to walk with us in these places. If you find yourself in one of these places, do what David did. Ask God to show you the way and let Him bring the word of His unfailing love to you.
Love, Claudia

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In Memory: Kent Parker (June 25, 1966 - March 13, 2010)

I’ll miss you, Kent.  You were a shining example of how to keep smiling in spite of ALS.  Your sense of humor brought joy to my life.  Your loving concern for my family was amazing.  Thank you for all that you gave us.  You finished well, my friend.  I will see you again through the grace of God!  Hallelujah!