It was just this past week when I had quite a wake-up call.
Not only did we lose our precious “nephew”, Ethan Powell to Leukemia, but my dear wife was gone all week with the family in Memphis/Shreveport, the kids were with my Mom & Dad, and I found myself alone. Several nights… while alone and busy doing work at home, I realized just how fortunate I was to be a part of a community of believers in Bowling Green that is passionate about caring for one another.
A dear brother came and cut my grass, countless phone calls, emails, cards, and otherwise prayerful meditations of people in our behalf were on my mind. I’m not gonna lie to you, the loss of Ethan stunned me. Even though I know all of the textbook answers about suffering. I’ve read the Lee Strobel books, I’ve studied C.S. Lewis and various Christian theologians and apologists, but until you see a perfect little child who has yet to make a decision with a rational mind – die because of a ruthless disease – it’s not terribly real.
God is good. He is big. He knows more than I do, and I know that a lot of people were brought closer to him because of their realization of Ethan’s illness and perhaps their OWN deserving what an innocent child got. Regardless, it is a time to fall on our knees and humble ourselves.
Another great tragedy has occurred in Bowling Green, KY this past week. Sparing the details, a well-respected man in both church and community passed away by his own purposeful actions. I found out I have “moderately abnormal” cells in a biopsy they did on me last week, and while not terribly alarmed, the Dr. wants to be sure and remove the spot on my skin. Work is so busy that I feel like I’m standing on the seashore shoveling sand as quickly as I can, but another two, three, dozen waves come in every moment. It’s been a heavy last few weeks.
Father, your word says that those who will do what’s right will be tested. It says that you love those whom you punish. Whether or not my life (and others around me) are being punished right now, I know you love me, and want my heart. Forgive my foolish side-tracked mind, and may I be the champion of wisdom and holiness that my family needs. Thank you for the sunshine today. Thank you for the fun time watching “Are you smarter than a 5th Grader with my kids and wife”. Thank you for cars that run, Christian bro’s and sis’s that love, and for our silly happy dog. Thank you for the wake-up calls that remind us that you’re still here, you’re better than everything around us, and you want us to join you.