The Lord Giveth, He Taketh Away…Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord! I believe that more than anything this past year, the Lord has shown me this to be true. This isn’t always the easiest of lessons that the Lord has ever shown me, but His plan is always perfect and with love. I have shed many a tear with this lesson this year, but my tears were not alone. There is no doubt that when God gives you trials, it may be the hardest times to praise His name, but I have found that if you come to Him with everything, He will make a way. He is with us through everything! Earlier this month, the Lord saw it fit to take away something from dear friends of ours -their home. It was early morning, when the reality hit them that their house could not be saved with just the water from a garden hose, and they escaped the flames that begin to rapidly engulf their beautiful, God-honoring house. With only the clothes on their backs, Jon and his three children (Eliza, 5, Olivia, 4 and Aiden, 2) and Jon’s sister, Jeana, watched the flames rip through each room and destroy everything. Tabitha, Jon’s wife, had just received the call to come home immediately. ( She was working her shift at the hospital as an RN.) I could only imagine her fear and distress as she begin to arrive closer and closer to her neighborhood only to see firefighters surrounding her home and flames destroying it. When she and I spoke the next day, her words gripped my heart…
“I jumped out of the car and ran down the street screaming and asking anyone I could, “My babies?? My family? Please, where are they??” No one could answer. I kept running til I saw my sweet husband, my hero, standing on the side of the road barefoot and cold, watching our home burn. I collapsed at his feet. “The kids?” I was still hysterical. He pointed to a white vehicle and I ran. Inside I saw the most amazing site, my three beautiful babies, barefoot and in their pajamas sweetly waiting with their Aunt Jeana. “MOMMY!!!!”, the sweetest sound I have ever heard. I grabbed all three of them. The warmth of their skin and smell of their hair at that moment was almost more than I could handle.”
Tabitha’s words and were so sincere and almost frightening, that I pray that no one I ever know will have to experience those emotions. As I mentioned earlier, it is the hardest time to give praise to a wonderful, merciful God, when you just don’t understand why, but she and her family have not only given the Lord all the praise to be given, but have also given hope and understanding to those around them who may have not had it before. They have been truly wonderful examples of those in trial having FAITH!
Their beautiful family was able to spend yesterday (Christmas Day) in a temporary rental home (they will be leaving as medical missionaries to Togo, West Africa this coming Fall) and she has shared that their family has been truly blessed with help and generosity from loved ones, friends and complete strangers.
I couldn’t help but open my presents and clean up the Christmas aftermath with a more humble heart this year. I actually went upstairs and took a peek at my beautiful wedding dress hanging in its bag (Tabitha said hers was a complete loss) and made a few bows for Landrey with a little more love put into them. I have thanked the Lord these past weeks a little harder for Landrey and Jason and hope that Tabitha and Jon’s faith and trust in our wonderful, glorious God will be contagious for your family this coming year, as well.