For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Those Who Mourn

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.

I’m struggling with the words I want to share this week. Not because I don’t know what to say, but because I have too much to say. I’ll try to keep this as short as I can.

Sadness, anger, frustration, shock and pain filled much of my week. Monday morning shortly after I arrived at work, I found out that my friend’s daughter had been attacked and killed over the weekend. I asked many of you to pray and I thank you for that. Many of us had trouble wrapping our thoughts around what my friend Lisa and her husband were dealing with. How could anyone be possessed with so much evil that they had to destroy the life of a child?

Through all of this I was reminded of two very important truths. First, Satan and his angels are alive and roaming the earth searching for any willing human who will carry out their evil plans. Second, God wraps his arms around the sad and hurting and offers peace and hope; his love overcomes all.

I had the privilege of attending the memorial service for Esme, held at her church, on Wednesday. As soon as I entered the building, I felt God’s peace, not because of the structure but because so many people were ministering to this hurting family. We gathered not to mourn the loss of a gifted and talented young teen, but to celebrate the joy and love for life she shared with everyone she met. Family and friends read poems she had written, played her favorite music, and talked about how she touched so many in her short life. Among tears and laughter, we remembered Esme’s life and how she blessed everyone she met. The church community reached out to Lisa and Tom and embraced their sorrow and pain, friends stood by them and shared hugs and kind words. Even as Satan tried to destroy, God’s peace, hope and power triumphed. Lisa and Tom still have sad days ahead, I can’t even begin to imagine what they must deal with, but I know through prayer that the hand of God will hold them up.

Please continue to pray for Esme’s family and friends.

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