Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Friday, March 18, 2011

God Knows...

...what we need and when we need it.

"The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,"--Nahum 1:7

As you can imagine, only two months after the death of Amanda things are still pretty tough. My wife, my surviving daughter, and I all have bad days and some that are not so bad. It's hard to say any day has really been good over these past couple of months. In every conversation, in everything we do, we're reminded of our loss.

But as bad as things are, we have also been blessed--blessed to live and work in a community that has been more caring, comforting, and concerned than we could ever have expected. From family, church, and school, we've been blessed to have the support of kin, friends, parents, colleagues, and students offer every means of support. From food to money to a shoulder to cry on, we've been blessed by God to see and know that we are loved by many.

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."--Philippians 4:19

The other day, at another of my low points, God lifted me up again when one of my students popped up in the chat window on Facebook and gave me the name of a song she had heard in church that day. She told me it made her think of me, so I found it on YouTube. In God's miraculous way, it was just what I needed at just the right time to remind me that He is the only way I'm going to get through this.

Here's the song, "I Need You More." (Thanks Joanna!)

This song reminds me that in the darkest of hours, my only hope lies in turning to the Lord. The truth is, the only reason I've been able to get through thus far is my faith and belief in Christ--that Amanda is now in Heaven with Jesus and one day, one glorious day, I will see her again. I'll run to her, wrap my arms around her, and cry tears of joy when my number is up and I'm called home.

" 3Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."--Romans 5:3-5

The hope mentioned in this verse is what motivates me to move forward and work to memorialize my daughter by running and raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Arkansas Children's Hospital, and Soaring Wings Ranch. Hope that keeps me going even when the world robbed me of one of the biggest joys of my life, my beautiful daughter Amanda. That hope is what makes me try to let God use me to bring some good from this tragedy.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."--Romans 8:28

So remember, when times seem darkest, God is with us. He knows what we're going through, what we need, when we need it. And He will provide it. It's up to us to recognize it and utilize it. God used one of my wonderful students to step in and lift my spirits the other day with this song.

I know dark days remain ahead. Every day is a struggle. But without Him, there would be no hope and no motivation to persevere. I promise you, my faith in Jesus is the ONLY reason I can keep going.

Thank you Lord, for knowing what I need and providing it when I needed it. I pray that those who don't know you will find you, and gain the same hope and grace that knowing you provides me.


  1. Your comment at A Softer Voice (No Regrets) touched me so deeply. I am so very sorry about the tragic loss of your beautiful daughter - and she is SO beautiful. Wishing you peace and comfort until your reunion with her. I can't imagine that the Lord is going to tarry much longer.

    God Bless You

  2. Wow! I can't imagine what you are going through. (I have a 19 year old daughter.) But I can't even imagine going through it without Jesus. He is always there, walking beside us through it all. I am going to be praying for you and your family.

    Thanks for your comments on my blog.


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