It's interesting, this thing called life. Walking day by day in the grace of God brings an even more vibrant perspective. We have those days or weeks (or months, if we're lucky) of blessing and plenty and overflow. Everything seems almost perfect. We get along with our spouses. Money isn't an issue. Friends are abundant. Trials seem non-existent. Our prayer lives are rich, and our connection with God, intimate.
But Satan doesn't like it when we Christ-followers are profiting, advancing. No. Satan feels threatened.
That's when the attacks begin. Sometimes they are sneaky and rise up in the form of inner turmoil or a fleeting thought. But other times it seems Satan demands all-out war on our lives. He throws unbelievable trials at one, one after another, in missile assault. Marriages suffer, bank accounts dwindle, friends abandon us, trials seem endless, prayer lives are non-existent, and God seems so far away.
And that is Satan's goal--to pull us as far away from our gracious God as he can. He wants us to blame God, abandon God, forsake God, curse God. He knows he doesn't have the power to severe our relationship with God, but he will do everything in his power to bring us to the point of rejecting our Lord.
How angry he must be when we proclaim through streaming tears,
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised. Job 1:21
This is the kind of brutal assault Satan has been pouring out on our pastor and his family. Thursday morning, his father passed away. In the midst of the grief and phone calls and funeral arrangements, he gets a second dreaded phone call--his mother has an aggressive brain tumor.
Why do things like this happen, and in such terrible timing? The questions are endless.
But the answer is in the thanksgiving--in finding God's grace.
It has been a tremendous privilege to be considered as close as family in these painful times. Kevin and I have been blessed by Randy and Sheryl endlessly, and being called on to help is a gift. To be the ones they call--crying with the news, to be trusted to stay with their four children as they rush out the door to the hospital, to know enough about each of them and their lives to be able to step in and carry on in their absence--I didn't realize how incredible a blessing that would be. Thankful to be a part of this, to be given the responsibility by God to help our friends persevere through this pain.
This is what the fellowship of believers is all about--trusting each other, taking care of each other, loving each other, praying for each other, mourning with each other.