God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; He raised His voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has wrought desolations in the earth. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire. Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. -Psalms 46
I got a text Wednesday night that a friend had a stroke and was life flighted to the hospital in the Springs. I immediately changed out of my PJs and headed down to see him and his family. I got to see Jimmy in the ER and he was awake, looking around and acknowledged me being there. I got to hold his hand and tell him that I was praying for him and loved him. His wife was in great spirits, just thankful that her husband was being taken care of.
I met Jimmy on a mission trip to Moore, Oklahoma to help tornado victims back in 2013. Jimmy worked tirelessly, did whatever anyone asked, and we had great conversations in the evenings. Jimmy is one of the first people I met coming to Colorado and he set the bar for everyone else. Although he was dealing with employment issues (like me), and whatever else, I never saw him without a smile, without an encouraging word to me.
That night, after I saw Jimmy, his brain started swelling due to the stroke. The next day, the doctors informed the family that they would have to go to surgery to try and stop the swelling. This morning, the email said that the swelling had put Jimmy into a coma that he would not wake up from.
Life if so precious. It is elusive, like a puff of smoke, just waiting for a wind strong enough to whisk it away. I will miss Jimmy’s smile and his friendship, but I am happy for him. To be absent of the body is to be with Christ. I know without a doubt that my friend will be at Jesus’ feet and I will see him again one day.
I am reminded every day that God’s plan IS the best plan. We have plans, we have ideas about what we want or where we are going, but they are subjective to God’s plans (with or without our cooperation). God is NOT a chess player as some might think, moving us like chess pieces around the board of life; He is a Father, who allows us to grow and make mistakes, always nudging us closer to the truth in order to live a fulfilled life. Does He allow suffering, poverty, and death? Not in a malevolent way as many think. The greatest gift God gave man is also man’s greatest downfall: free will. We are intelligent, we are invincible, our species is the “Clint Eastwood” of the universe. And yet, there is a soft spot in our spirit, a need that never gets met, an itch that eludes any satisfying scratch. This is our innate, fully designed need for our Creator, just as a child needs its parents.
To reign in all the emotions that are scattered all over this blog, I will say this: Life is precious, Eternal Life is priceless. To fully enjoy the first, you HAVE to address the latter. I immediately thought of my children, my brothers, my sisters, and most of all, my wife. I will miss them when I leave this earth, but that emotion is paled by the excitement of being in the presence of my Creator and knowing that when my family sees me again, I will be FULLY ALIVE!
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He sent His only son, so that none shall perish, but have eternal life.”