Scripture: If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. 1 Corinthians 13:3 The Message
Scripture: Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. 1 Corinthians 13: 8-13 The Message
Scripture: O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths,
you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me
were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with you. Psalms 139:1-19 NIV
Observation: These amazing scriptures speak of purpose in life. They speak of knowing Christ and loving those around us. We also have a glimpse of how our Savior knows every hair on our head as well of every feeling and thought we will ever have. The Lord knows our life and all our days, even before we experience them. He sees our mistakes, our victories and our sorrow. Only he can provide us with comfort, strength, and the ability to take on the most difficult circumstances. Only He can answer the unanswerable.
Application: The loss of a child is without a doubt the most difficult path anyone will ever have to walk. So many words come to our lips as we try to describe how it feels but we cannot. There are groans, tears, weeping, and screaming yet that brings no relief to our hearts. Our faith in Christ and all he promises MUST carry us. Without him and his word we will not survive the path we now are walking.
Last week a family I know, the Wardlaws, through my employers, the Hullings, lost their son Win in a tragic off-road accident. I found myself reaching out through prayer to them and the other families being affected. In 2003 I lost my oldest son Ryan. Ryan’s scripture is 1 Corinthians 13:3. It describes him. He would fill those around him with love and acceptance. He literally gave the shirt off of his back to someone in need more than once. He lived a life full of passion and he loved people in a way that made them strive to be a better people. A terrible void was left when he died in the lives of all who knew him. I love you Ryan and I miss you!! When I heard that my Ryan had died, I held my Bible tightly, it gave me comfort. I wouldn’t open it because my eyes couldn’t focus on the words but the comfort of touching it gave me the strength to stand and move forward. In that moment I wanted every mother to know you can never hug your child too much, kiss them too often or laugh with them enough. I wanted my friends to hug their children until it hurt because I realized that we never know what tomorrow will bring. I was so glad I had Jesus. I couldn’t imagine what losing Ryan would be like without Christ as my foundation. As time has passed I have been able to look back and see how the Lord was preparing me for Ryan’s death and how he provide for me in the smallest ways by putting just the right people around me to help. Even four years later I’m so grateful to my friends, pastors and especially my husband and wonderful bonus children who were there. I continue to thank the Lord for them and the love that was poured out on me.
To the Wardlaws and Hullings there are no words except to say that I’m sorry for your loss. Please know that the love of Christ carried me through the loss of my son and he can carry you through the loss of Win as well!
Prayer: Heavenly father, you are master and creator; you are our loving father and I know only you can provide for the Wardlaws in this time of need. Lord I cry out to you. Bring them the comfort and strength needed to carry them through this difficult time. Father, cover them in love and heal their broken hearts. Inspire them to cling to you and your word! I thank you Lord for the comfort and strength you gave me when I lost Ryan. Help me to use that loss to comfort the Wardlaws and the Hullings at this time. I thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen