Michael and I were supposed to begin our pre-marrital counseling tonight, and we were so excited about it. However, after extremely drastic turn of events took place yesterday, we are left in a situation that brings us back to square one....
You see, the man that Michael looked up to in so many ways, and admired for over 2 years....who was going to do our counseling.....he committed suicide late yesterday afternoon. I just got word that he called 911 before doing it, but other than that....that's all we know.
He was a devoted Christian man, and touched so many lives sharing the Gospel of Christ! He was even a pastor for quite some time.... There are so many questions in my head I can't begin to find the answers to....I can't imagine how his wife, children, closest friends, co-workers....even those he counseled may feel. It's an extremely numbing feeling, and I barely knew him. PLEASE lift this family up in your prayers. His wife and children especially! Pray for Michael, as he has lost his mentor, pretty much one of the only CHRISTIAN men in his life that he could talk to. He's pretty upset.
As I write this blog, I can't help but think about how selfish I am. I think a lot of times when something like this happens, I (and I'm sure I'm not the only one in this boat) but I somehow suddenly talk about the person as if they were by best friend. No, I only knew this man from seeing him at Michael's work, and hearing Michael talk about him constantly. But I hurt because Michael hurts, and it seriously bothers me because I know as a "social worker" I will have to deal with suicide often...and that's hard to even think about.
Satan has so many schemes in this world, and I guess he succeeds often. He knows the lies he can feed to us to bring us down, or to cause us to stumble. DC Talk has an extremely old song that says "What if I stumble, what if I fall? What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all? Will the world continue, or will my walk become a crawl....what if I stumble, and what if I fall?"
I think the answer to those questions is exactly what God said to Moses when he was questioning Him about going to Egypt to free the Israelites............God looks at us and says "I AM WHO I AM!" I think that is one of the most comforting things in life. Whatever we need, God IS!
Last night in Bible Study, Beth Moore was talking about fear, and how we shouldn't be bonded by it. She pointed out that the most re-occuring command in the bible wasn't to be good, or to repent, or don't lie, or whatever you may think it is.....but the most common command, the one thing that is said over and over again from Geneis to Revelation is "Do not be afraid!" Don't live in fear....trust God. Whatever you're going through TRUST HIM! She took about 20 minutes to explain what I'm gonig to try and explain here, so stay with me.
The scripture came from Esther 4:16, where Esther has just asked for all the Jews to fast for her for 3 days, while she prepared herself to enter into the King's presence to ask that he does not kill the Jews as he has decreed. (you've just go to read and study Esther, it's AWESOME!) But ANYWAYS.....In the very last part of verse 16, Esther says "And if I perish, I perish"..."If I die, I die!"
So Beth Moore took that phrase and talked about how we worry and have fear about so many things in life. We think "My gosh, if that happened, then I just couldn't live anymore" or "I could never get out of bed again..." My big IF that kept coming to my mind was "If I ever lost Michael or my parents then I could never get on with my life." She made us take this "IF ______, then _____" phrase and leave the blanks empty. Now think about it...think about the worse thing in life that could happen to you. For Beth Moore, it was her husband not finding her attractive, and cheating on her...but what is it for you (and me)?? Losing a loved one? Being diagnosed with cancer? Failing school? Being jobless in this economy? Never getting married? Getting a divorce? Whatever your fear may be...then think of the "then". Like if it happened, then what...and keep going with then "Then what" until you can't go any more.
You will find that no matter what that worse fear is that you may have.....GOD will always be there. The "then" part of it will eventually end up with "GOD!" He will provide, he will protect, he will comfort, heal, encourage, love, forgive, etc and etc until the end!!
There will be pain and hurt of course, but that never means that the Lord isn't there.
The moral of the story is this: DO NOT BE AFRAID.....trust in the Lord, and live life witout fear!