Celeste loves music – I mean, she loves music – and one of her things she likes to do is ask me to sing to her. Today the song she was singing all day long was Jesus Loves Me – which is still one of my all-time favorite songs. Today’s devotional reminds us of the love God has for us. As with last week’s devotional, this week’s comes from a2observeslent.com and was written by Jenny Walters. I hope you find it as meaningful to read as I did.
We’ve all heard these phrases, “He will send you His Comforter.” “He will give you peace that passes all understanding.” “His grace is sufficient.” — all real promises from God’s word. What if you had to trust God and take Him at His word?
What if it is all you thought about night and day, if you had to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5)?
On April 22, 2006, Billy and I got the phone call a parent never wants to receive.
Our youngest son, Kingsley, then 22 years old, had been in an accident. He was being airlifted to UAB. The call was unexpected, just as so much in life is. Our lives would change from that day forward.
The weekend had started with anticipation. Kingsley had worked all week; he worked in surveying and was glad to have the weekend off. He and his friends had been looking forward to this weekend for months — it was the “big weekend” for off-roading at Gray Rock. It only happens once or twice a year, he had said, as he headed out the door with a big smile on his face.
He loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and off-roading in his red jeep. He was so excited. Our oldest son, Kendall, was working all weekend, and Billy had headed out for a fishing trip with his brother in Panama City, Florida.
So, my sister and I spent the day together, touring the parade of homes in the area. We had just finished and were heading home when Billy called telling us Kingsley had been in an accident and was being airlifted to UAB. Time stopped. “Go to UAB,” he said, “I am heading home.” My sister agreed to drive me to the hospital. All the way she kept asking “What are you thinking?… Are you ok?” Honestly, I can only remember thinking, “I just don’t understand.”
Later, I would be reminded, it was not for me to understand, only to Trust in Him.
We arrived at the hospital, friends and family started to arrive, then the doctor wanted to talk with the family in the chapel. I had worked in a hospital admitting area, and I knew what this meant. We all gathered, except Billy, he was still in route, the doctor told us that, “they did all they could.” There had been a terrible accident, the jeep dropped a tire off solid ground and had rolled over; it landed on Kingsley, crushing his chest. “We are so sorry.”
Our world was out of control…trying to make sense of it all. When Billy finally arrived, we gave him the news…he was devastated.
We planned a funeral. We cried, we grieved, we missed our son.
Fast forward, 5 months to the day, Sept 22, 2006: another call came unexpected…Kingsley’s girlfriend, Jessica, only 20 years old, had passed away in her sleep. The cause was determined to be a “pulmonary embolism.” There were speculations but the reason was “unknown.” We cried and grieved with her family. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the family did not have a place to bury their daughter. We discussed this with the family, and it was agreed, she would be placed next to Kingsley. Two young lives, with such a bright future, gone. We searched for answers, we read the book of Ecclesiastes, again and again; we tried to understand these words, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” We looked to God’s words in Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
We know in our hearts we will see them both in Heaven, and God has victory over the grave. We hold to these promises in His Word.
We still do not understand the “why,” but we do trust in a God who is in control, even when we are not. We trust His Word and His promises.
Fast forward 5 years…to today, God has restored: our oldest son, Kendall, has two children, our beautiful healthy grandchildren, so full of life we have a hard time keeping up with their energy. God is good. We are amazed every day by how bright and intelligent they are. They are so much fun. We love watching them learn things they have never experienced before, their world of child amazement at all of God’s wonderful creation. He has kept His promises…He sent us His Comforter when we needed it the most. He sent us His “peace that passes all understanding” and His grace has been sufficient to heal our hearts. He has restored, as only He can.
God freely gave His Son for a sacrifice for your sins, to heal your hearts, and to restore your life as only He can. He also knew the pain and grief you would suffer when He went away and so He sends you His Holy Spirit as a Comforter to help ease your pain. Our God has you on His mind…He loves you. He will never leave you or forsake you, He will be with you always.
Questions for Reflection
- What promise of God gives you strength and comfort?
- Sing the song “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know”; talk with someone about what it means to know that Jesus loves us because “the Bible tells us so.”