Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 249 God's faithfulness


It’s Pastor Dave here filling in for Loriann and Steve. Loriann asked me to be a “guest blogger” while she and Steve get away for Loriann’s birthday (i’ll let her tell you how many years she’s celebrating). I’ve been called a lot of things, but this is the first time for “Guest Blogger”. Anyway, Happy Birthday Loriann!!!! You deserve a break today.

A good friend of mine, Chris Lierheimer, went into hospice this past week and is not expected to live. The news hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt the same pit in my stomach as I did the night Steve and Hannah were brought to Albany Med’s E.R.

I’ve been reading Chris’s blog the last couple of months along with the Smith’s blog and thinking to myself, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” It’s a question I’m not sure any of us can answer and I’m not sure that any of us have the right to ask God, but I think most of us have asked it just the same. I’ve had my share of heartaches and losses, but not like some folks that I know. And certainly nothing like some people that I’ve only read about in history or those living in third world nations. But the question begs an answer. Why God? My best guess is still the same: I don’t know! Even though Loriann is the master communicator with the pen… it’s Steve and Hannah that have had to really walk through this valley the past eight months. I’ve been keeping my eye on them and wondering (to myself of course) “Could I handle that kind of pain and trauma with such grace?” Could I go through operation after operation with such a positive attitude???? Would I keep myself from bitterness or self-pity????? And after asking myself these questions, I confess that I’m not sure how I would score, but I know that I’ve picked up some valuable pointers along the journey by observing the Smiths. The truth is we will all face some painful times, some disappointments, some dark days and we need to know how to navigate our way through those times while maintaining our faith, our relationship with god, and our relationships with people.

When Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China, heard that 58 of his fellow missionaries and 21 children had been killed in the boxer revolution, he fell into a deep depression. He admitted to his wife, “I can’t read; I can’t think; and I can’t even pray, but I can trust God.” He repeated two phrases over and over again that saw him through the darkest hours. “You may trust the Lord too little, but you can never trust Him too much.” and “If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13)

In reading the Smith’s blog and my friend Chris’s blog, I've concluded one thing: I don’t know why bad things happen to good people, but God is ever faithful. God has proven to be incredibly faithful to Steve and Hannah in ways that we can’t even comprehend this side of heaven. He has been wonderful to Loriann and He has used many of you along the way to express His faithfulness.

I have fallen in love with a new verse over the past couple of months.

Gal 5:6 (NIV) The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

I know that I have thought about God’s love more this past eight months than I have in previous years. I’ve thanked God for my family and for this church family more than ever before. And I want to thank all of you bloggers for being such great examples of what C.S. Lewis calls, “little christs” (there … I’ve fulfilled the mandatory “C.S.Lewis quote”).

Let me express to Steve, Loriann, and Hannah that you have been an inspiration to all of us. I know this has been the most difficult year in your lives, but I can also testify that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

It’s obvious to me that all you Smiths love God…. and you’re called for a very special purpose!

May God continue to heal those areas that need healing and may He continue to express Himself through all of us along the journey.

In Christ Alone,

Pastor Dave

1 comment:

johandav said...

Dear Pastor Dave the Humble,

Beautiful post! Seems we're all on figuring it out on this pilgrim road as we go. The Great One gives us what we need to understand, one day at a time, and grows our faith like a master gardener- knowing exactly when to apply water, fertilizer, and stress. We are so grateful for a man like you who embodies the love of Jesus to the people you serve. There you were in the ER, seemingly minutes after the accident, and you are with us still... THank you is not enough. Good job getting C.S. Lewis in the mix! As for Chris L., for the little while I knew him and Victoria, I saw people who already had hold of the kingdom of God. Friends of God. In the end, that's all that matters... Your friend on the pilgrim road, Loriann (in New Hampshire!)