Every once in a while I start to post a Facebook status, and it just gets so long I decide I need to move it to the blog instead. This is one of those posts...unplanned, unedited, and a bit raw, but words that needed to come out tonight. This is what I started to post on Facebook:
Reminded again tonight how very thankful I am that Christmas isn't over on December 25...that the birth of the baby in the manger was neither the beginning nor the end of God's plan...that the message of Christmas is the HOPE that that Baby brings to the earth...not a "wishing" sort of hope, but a sure and certain hope...that for those who have accepted that Christmas Gift of salvation, God has promised that He is with us every step of the way on earth, and then we are in His presence forever. Remembering Bro. Gary's message Sunday morning on Isaiah 9:6, and thankful that although I do not understand the "whys" behind God's plan so often, I know that He is in control, He loves us more than we can imagine, and He is good, always. Grieving tonight and praying for friends whose grief is even deeper.
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
We lost a dear friend tonight. We came to love Mr. Roy and Mrs. Beverly very quickly upon our move to Grace last summer. Roy went to be with Jesus very suddenly and unexpectedly this afternoon. It's amazing how sometimes you can know someone such a relatively short time, and yet they become such a huge part of your life that they leave a big gaping hole when they are gone. I know that is multiplied many times for his family and close friends.
There are four things I'll always think of when I think of Mr. Roy...
1. He loved Jesus.
2. He loved people.
3. He was always ready to help meet a need.
4. He had one of the best laughs ever. And he used it often. And his eyes twinkled. We are going to miss that laugh and those twinkling eyes!
I'm thankful for the months that we've gotten to share with Mr. Roy as part of our Grace family. As we ache and pray for Beverly, Justin, and their family tonight, and for Bro. Gary and Becky and all those who loved him, these verses keep coming to mind...
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. ~ 1 Thess. 4:13-18
We know where he is...we are thankful that he is rejoicing with Jesus...but we sure are going to miss him!