Friends of ours who moved to Tennessee several years ago will be coming back home this week to have the funeral of their 14-year old son who lost his fight with leukemia last Thursday night.  Aaron has been a patient at St. Jude’s for the past 10 months, and like Nick, was a smiling fighter all the way through his battle.

Please keep Aaron’s parents and sister in your prayers.

At church this morning, we learned of an ATV accident yesterday that took the life of 15-year old boy in a town not far from here.  He is related to a family in our church, and his mom works with one of our area optometrists.  I’ve been to Tyler’s mom’s Facebook page today to send her message, and I can tell from all of the sweet words that Tyler, too, was an amazing and special young man.

Please keep Tyler’s parents in your prayers.  He was their only child.

As I think of Aaron and Tyler tonight, I am reminded of so many other families who have been taken down this painful road of grief in just the past couple of years.

I remember the words of Jesus as he refers to the devil as a “thief” who has come to “steal, kill, and destroy,” and I think of all of us who have been robbed of our children’s futures and had our dreams destroyed by the evil one.  I could easily be overcome with fear and sadness when I think of all of the families with broken hearts like ours tonight. 

But then I remind myself of all of the promises tucked within God’s Word…

Jesus says, “in this life you will have trouble but take heart because I have overcome the world!”

In Colossians, Paul says that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”

I love Jesus’ words in the book of John,

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

And I can never forget God’s words in Psalm 126,

 Those who sow in tears
       will reap with songs of joy.

He who goes out weeping,
       carrying seed to sow,
       will return with songs of joy,
       carrying sheaves with him


Somehow God is going to use all of our pain.

Somehow God is going to redeem all of our sorrow.

Until then, I believe that those of us who are grieving are called to rest in God’s arms, trusting Him for each new morning.  The first steps are never easy.  Getting out of bed is often all there is strength to do in those first few months of grief.

Slowly, by clinging to God’s Word, Hope does rise again in our hearts.

So, for tonight, I am heavy-hearted for Aaron and Tyler’s families, but I am still full of Hope; because I know that God is greater than our deepest heartache, and He will be faithful to provide both of these families with exactly what they need to make it through each new day. 

And most of all, I am full of Hope because I know that Aaron and Tyler have been taken Home……..

We can never even begin to imagine just how wonderful life is for them now.

I rest on that knowledge tonight as I pray for the Stampers and Baldridges.

And I also wanted to let you know that I will be away from the Internet for several days and will miss sharing life with all of you.

God bless your Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Until Thursday,