A little over a month ago, one of my dearest friends lost her 20 year old grandson, Jared, due to a sudden illness. So many questions evolved from this event that was and still is looked at as a tragedy. Jared was such a precious Christian young man, who lived his life, not for himself, but for God and for others. During the weeks after his death, stories began to be heard of how Jared’s influence had touched so many lives. Friends and family, knowing that they could, no matter the pain and suffering they were experiencing, still always trust God’s Hand, even in the middle of this heartache. I had received a text from Cora telling me that, when we could talk, she wanted to share a story of how God was being glorified in Jared’s death. Well, today I was blessed to be able to hear the story. After hearing it, I ask permission from Cora and Becky to share it with you, as we always need to be sharing how God works in ways which only He can orchestrate.
Because Jared and his brother Andrew use to work in the summers with younger boys at a gym, coaching, this particular gym held a fund raiser this past Saturday in honor of Jared. They had Becky, Jared’s mom, to come say a few words about Jared, which she so willingly did. During the break of Becky speaking, (she had to speak to two different groups of people, so had some time before she spoke the second time) a young lady came up to Becky and Cora and ask if she could share something with them. When Becky responded with, “yes, of course, how can we help you”, the young lady said, “oh no, I don’t need anything, but I just had to share something with you.” She proceeded to tell them that she had never been in a church before attending Jared’s memorial service and that she was just so impressed with how Becky and Darren had been able to speak so lovingly about the Lord and His faithfulness in front of almost 2000 people about Jared. This young lady, who saw Jared at the gym, when he was there working ,went on to say, how she was so impressed with the way everyone spoke that day of the Lord and how much He meant to them. That because of Him, they were able to have a peace that surpassed any understanding. That God’s love was so evident in the young people that gathered that day to celebrate his life. She knew from seeing Jared at the gym, that what everyone was saying about Jared was true. As she concluded her story , getting more excited with each word, that every since Jared’s service, she had gone to church every Sunday (except one, when she was out of town) .Cora said that this young lady was just elated that it was Saturday, which meant that she would getting to go to church again that next day.
When Cora relayed this story to me, I began to cry, thinking to myself, “shouldn’t I get that excited every week that I get to go to God’s House?” We take so much for granted and sometimes church becomes something we “need to do, or have to do” because we feel the need to honor Him. But does it honor Him when we simply go because we are suppose to?
God’s House is a building, yes, but it is so much more. It is a place to not only gather with other Christians who want to corporately worship our Lord, but a place to bring our hearts and to surrender our wills to His. A place of prayer. A time of quietness to be thankful for a God who has loved us so much that we want to be in His house. It should never be about us;about being entertained. It should be a time where our hearts and minds are completely yielded to Him and empty our selves of any pride, anger, bitterness or any other thing that takes our minds off of Him. Yes, this young lady’s testimony was a great reminder to me that, truly, there are people around us each day, who have never heard about the Good News of Christ’s great love for us. That He will give us everything we need when we go through those tough times. That those tough circumstances will be much easier to handle if we don’t wait to call on God, just when we need him, but that every day, we are learning to trust and love our Creator, so that, in those tough times, we are able to feel His presence and know that He is walking through them with us.
Cora had told me that she had been wondering how God would be more glorified by Jared’s death than He would have been by his life. This is just one of those stories that is showing them that answer, and the answers just keep coming.
Psa 103:2,22 “Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things He does for me. 22. Praise the Lord, everything he has created, every where in his kingdom. As for me, I, too, will praise the Lord.”
As per Becky, when I ask her if she minded me sharing this story, “we don’t want to miss any opportunity to bring God glory in what He is accomplishing through our pain & grief. That there is Hope, so that we and others know it is NOT in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Asa 147: 11 “the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.”