"Rock of Ages, when the day seems long
From this labor and this heartache I have come
The skies will wear out, but You remain the same
Rock of Ages, I praise Your name..."
One of the most incredible aspects of the Christian life involves fellowship, a fellowship unlike any other on this side of heaven. Upon receiving the gift of salvation, we are welcomed into this intimate union with fellow brothers and sisters. What I find most amazing, the very thing which brings me to tears as I write, is the hope to which each of us clings. No matter the circumstance, no matter the pain, no matter the heartache, no matter the wrongs committed against us, no matter what the case may be...we have the shared and only hope - the hope of our Great Shepherd.
In less than a week, two dear acquaintances of mine have been faced with tragedy I cannot even begin to understand or imagine. Both of these sweet and encouraging women have blessed my life and that of many others. They are the kind of individuals, sisters in this undeserved inheritance, who remind me of how sweet the Lord is to orchestrate specific people at specific points in time that we might be encouraged in the faith. These women are both faithful wives and sacrificial in their time and giving to those around them. While I am not as closely connected with either of them in this particular season, I can look back at recent years and consider myself blessed to have known them.
These two dear sisters have unexpectedly lost a parent in recent days, one having lost her father and the other having lost her mother. The suddenness of both incidents have thrown family and friends off guard, the shock greatly affecting any who knew them. Rather than hearing of pain, anger, and the common questions of why overwhelming their speech, though understandable and very real emotions to experience during such tragedy, there has been a different resounding theme... How else other than through the hope of Christ can both women testify to the nearness of the Lord? How else other than through His saving grace and deep comfort over them can they continue to call Him Great Shepherd? A true mystery to those who do not know such hope...
Please pray for these precious sisters. They are each also expecting their first daughters in the very near future, which must add another element to this season of inexpressible joy and sorrow. Pray that the Lord will continue to overwhelm them with His kindness and nearness, and that they will cling to that hope during this dark valley. Pray that the Holy Spirit will be evident in His ministry in and through both of these families in the coming days and months.
I would also encourage you to call your mom or dad and simply tell them of your love and gratitude for them... I called my own mom a few days ago and just cried. If your family, similar to lingering questions with my own family, does not know the hope that surpasses understanding, pray the He would move and work. Pray that He would use you as the instrument of grace in their lives, that they will see the evidence of such undeserved grace and kindness. Pray that, if He so wills, He would call them into this unearthly fellowship. And praise Him that He gives us one another to walk through such dark nights of the soul together.