So many times, I roll on through life thinking nothing can get me. I am invincible. Car wrecks and heart attacks, suicides and homicides are just things that happen to other people. Never to me.
I tend to put life in a little box and expect it to never go out of the parameters of that shell.
Today, I realized (again) how wrong I am. How no one, especially I, can't tame what only God has control of. And y'all, God has complete control of life no matter how hard we try to think otherwise.
Today, I lost a really good friend. A great friend. Life-long friend. He died from injuries sustained from a car wreck in Carthage, Miss. There were two others with him -- a girl and a guy. The girl, who is from Columbus, is still in critical condition. The guy walked away from the incident. No one was wearing seat belts and all were thrown from the vehicle.
I can't tell you how many pieces my heart is in right now. I just don't understand. I'm in shock. I don't understand how someone can be here one minute, and the next they are gone.
But I tell you what I do understand. God is faithful. God is in control. God is bigger than all of this and he's working out some crazy plan that we all won't understand until we are all together in his kingdom one day. He has a purpose.
I've been studying Romans with my small group from church. This past week we were in Chapter 8. Paul says in verse 17 of this chapter, "Now if we are children, then we are heirs -- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."
There's a promise there. Did anybody else catch it? We get to share in HIS glory. That's some good stuff. So I've heard.
Bradley Gibson is a child of God. I know. I was there when it happened. This verse gives us such a hope for what is to come. Right now, Brad is experiencing that. He's is straight up in the midst of God's glory. And as sad as I am that he is still not with us hear on Earth, I'm so excited that he is up there enjoying his Lord.
We sang one of my favorite hymns in church today and I would have never known it would take such a different meaning just nine hours later.
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.
Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blessed,
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.
How great it is to know that there is nothing we can do to lose that!
Romans 8 offers up even more encouraging verses.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose...If God is for us, who can be against us...Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Brad Gibson, you were a great friend. Like a brother. I will miss you. And your curly hair.
Father, please take care of the Gibsons right now. I don't even want to imagine how bad they are hurting right now. I praise you that they have such an incredible family of faith to surround them right now but I pray that you will minister to them in the other times, the dark, quiet times. The times when no one is there. Help them be there for each other, support each other and lift each other up.
I pray for the girl who was with them. Place your healing touch on her. However, if it is your will to take her with you, please be with her family and friends and help them know what a faithful God you are.
Be with the young man who was fortunate enough to walk away. I know he's asking some big questions right now and I pray that he will see you as you are revealing yourself to him right now. I pray that he will be ministered to in a way that only you receive the glory.
And Lord, I pray that you will help me remember what a fragile life this is. I pray that you will help me live my life as you would want me to. Use me to make a difference and follow your command to do that with reckless abandon.
Now to him who is able to do immesurably more than we can ask, all glory, honor and praise.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18