|"No stars gleam as brightly as those which glisten in the polar sky. No water tastes so sweet as that which springs amid the desert sand. And no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs through adversity. Tested faith brings experience. You would never have believed your own weakness had you not needed to pass through trials. And you would never have known God's strength had His strength not been needed to carry you through." ~ Spurgeon|
| The storm left scattered evidence of a life- lived all over the yard and pastures of our former dwelling place and even some pictures and such in other states. So for the past several weeks, our family has been going through the remaining boxes of items lovingly collected from amongst the rubble. As you can imagine, going through such things and anticipating the lovely crisp fall days (fall was his very favorite season) has us thinking about Tom. A lot.|
As I told a friend recently, papers are found and his handwriting is instantly recognized and so reminds us of the man... letters so straight and tall and neat and in order, and we remember. His clothes are found, and we remember. His style. His shoes, and we remember. His boots sit in my room and next to the bed. The boots he wore when he breathed his last prayer, and we remember.
In fact, we've been taking time to breathe...to cry...to reminisce...to rejoice in knowing where he is and to thank God for the time we had...to breathe, and we remember.
Do we miss him? Absolutely! It's good to miss, and it's good to be missed. If we could, would we bring him back? Absolutely not! We believe and rest and trust in God's sovereignty and plan for our lives.
But memories are stirred as we go through familiar items....and we miss...only our Lord knows what all. We can't really put our finger on it all. Our loved one? Our friends and family? The familiar? Everything has changed. Is it a place? Things? Sameness? All of the above?
What we do believe, and what we are reminded of daily, is that we all crave security and sometimes expect to find it in people, places, things, and the familiar. While people, places, things, and the familiar are good gifts from the Lord, our security is not to be found there, but rather in a PERSON. And that Person is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
As I also shared with my friend, we are so very thankful for the wonderful people God has placed in our lives and that we belong to and are loved by HIM. C.S. Lewis said, "When pain is to be borne, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all."
So many of you experience hurts or losses greater than our family can even fathom, but we know the One who can. Our prayer is that, whatever the storms in our lives, big or small, whatever the changes or unknowns we may be facing, and we all face changes and unknowns...daily, our trust will be in the Lord, and we will offer our circumstances to God. May He cause them to bear fruit...and may we remember and find comfort in His unfailing grace.