My heart sank as I came to the pages that shared about their son, Will, accidentally hitting his 5 year old sister, Maria, with his car. She was running to him as he was driving and he didn't see her. The details of the screaming and crying and Will carrying Maria's limp bloody body was more than I could bear. The recollection of Mary Beth hearing the screaming and running out the door, rounding the corner to see the horror. Tears were strolling down my face as I imagined it was happening to me. Oh, the hurt of seeing your child's limp body and your other child crying over her. I could imagine the chaos of trying to bring your child back to life.
Usually I would have slapped the book shut and put it back on the shelf before I would let myself go there in my head of visualizing the pain. But for some reason I kept reading. I came to the part where they were told the sad sad news by the nurses and doctors at the hospital that Maria had in fact died. And this is what I read next....
Somewhere in the room I heard Steven's voice explaining to those in the room that this was an eternal moment, and how everything in this life really comes down to this moment for each of us.
"As crazy as this seems right now," he said, "the only thing I can say to honor the life of my little girl and our terrible loss at this moment is to ask you, please don't miss this...we will all stand here on day and face eternity. If you don't know the One who can give you eternal life, His name is Jesus...you need to meet Him and you really need to meet my little girl in heaven...she's amazing."
Oh man, the tears that where rolling down my face at this point. I was trying to hide them because I was standing in the middle of an isle at the bookstore of all places. Everyone who passed me was looking at what I was reading that had me snotting so bad.
The story itself is enough to draw the tears but it is also what my heart needed to hear at that given moment. The Lord had just given me this scripture this morning in my quiet time...
"If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction." ~ Ps. 119:92
When trials and afflictions come it is all boils down to what you know to be the TRUTH. I was so inspired by this families great faith and their authenticity. They didn't diminish the fact that their hearts were in fact BROKEN. But they also believe God to be sovereign.
I can't even begin to imagine the deep hurt that goes with losing a child. But I know that we have a great God who has come to bind up the brokenhearted. And the more we put our lives under the authority of His Word, the more we are able to view things through His lens.
Steven Curtis Chapman got this. Even though he was experiencing great pain, he was able to see the BIGGER STORY! Everything in life really does all come down to this moment for all of us. It is about our relationship with HIM. It is about living for HIM. Even though we don't understand it all, He does and He is the story teller and will use it all for HIS glory if we will let him.
"Christianity doesn't deny the reality of suffering and evil...Our hope...is not based on the idea that we are going to be free of pain and suffering. Rather, it is based on the conviction that we will triumph over suffering." ~Brennan Manning
Triumphing over suffering starts with being grounded in the Word! Getting to know our Savior so well that when trials come, although still heartbroken, we can say....it is about YOU Jesus!
Oh how I pray that in all things I would be able to reflect a heart like Christ. Not denying the suffering but believing TRIUMPH!!!
|Steven Curtis Chapman with Maria|