Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hope When Life Hurts Most

Below is an excerpt from a DVD by Louie Giglio titled "Hope When Life Hurst Most". It's a 2 part DVD that in my opinion is an excellent presentation, explanation, and answer on the question "where is God when I am hurting?'.

In the said DVD, Louie told a story of a young man whose sister died of a sudden car accident. The sister just recently gave her life to Jesus and so stoked about it - she was telling everyone and everyone knows the changes that occurred in her life. The brother was so angry with God when his sister died. He felt their prayers weren't answered. That if there's a God, he's mean and he didn't want to have anything to do with him anymore.

In the later part of the teaching Louie shared about how at one point, God "met" this young man's needs ... and through all the anguish, while shouting to God "I hate you, why didn't you answer my prayers, etc. etc." this young man felt that God lovingly wrapped his arms around him as God, and God's only words were "I love you, I love you, I love you". No explanation, no condemnation, just "I love you, I love you, I love".

I believe these are the same words God is telling the Johnsons (and everyone who loves Joey). He's just saying "I love you, I love you, I love you". No explanation, no condemnation, no reasons. One day we'll understand why ... but for now, let's hold on to what he's saying:

"I love you, I love you, I love you".


Anonymous said...

Job 9:10-12
"He does incredible miracles, too many to count. He passes by, invisible; he moves along, but I don't see him go. When he sends death to snatch a man away, who can stop him? Who dares to ask him, "What are you doing?"

Job 10: 1&2
" I am very weary of living. Let me complain freely. I will speak in my sorrow and bitterness. I will say to God, "Don't just condemn me, tell me WHY you are doing it!"

Job 11: 7&8
" Do you know the mind and purposes of God? Will long searching make them known to you? Are you qualified to judge the almighty? He is as faultless as heaven is high- but who are you? His mind is fathomless- what can you know in comparison?"

Job 12:10
"For the soul of every living thing is in the hand of God,and the breath of all mankind."

Job 16:6
" But now my grief remains, no matter how I defend myself; nor does it help if I refuse to speak. For God has ground me down, and taken away my family."

Job 19: 25-27
" But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the Earth at last. And I know, that after this body has decayed, this body shall see God! Then he will be on my side! Yes, I shall see him, not as a stranger, but as a friend! What a glorious hope!"

Joe and Karen said...

Dear Blog Friends...we want to thank people for their comments the past couple of days. We welcome them and they don't offend us. These are the thoughts of honest Christians struggling with how to respond to the problem of human suffering.

We are new creatures in Christ headed for an unseen but glorious heavenly home. This world is broken and temporary, but it's what God has given us for now. It is filled with people we cherish and precious times with them. It's the first chapter of a story that will continue into eternity.

The loss of our son changes the way the story plays out for all of us who were close to him. In our limited perspective of life, we would wish him here to share the journey of life with us, and to watch his own story unfold. He was a beautiful young man with great gifts and a wonderful ability to give to others. It is impossible to not miss someone who filled your life with love, laughter, joy and hope, even though you know they are in Heaven.

Joey's death is a challenge to us on many levels. We deal with the shock of his unexpected death, just trying to understand how and why that happened. Could we have prevented it? We deal with an empty space in our lives filled by him for 28 years. How does life go on now without him? How will our family change without him?
We wonder how he is feeling right now. He shared all his other experiences with us, he can't share this one. There is a wall between us. He was with us and now he is with God...what's happening to him? We can't be part of that, we can't witness it, we trust God with that. We are forced to let go of our plans and dreams and accept that there will be a different story than the one we had envisioned. We have to say "not my will but Thine be done". We see many years ahead for us without him...that is truly the hardest part.

When something like Joey's death happens, it challenges our belief system in a healthy way. It forces us to ask if we truly trust God, or if we just say we trust God. As we apply God's word to these new circumstances, we find new hope and encouragement. It is a process that uses our mind and our emotions. It takes time because it is a growth process. Thanks for loving us and walking with us in that process. You have been God's comfort to us and we feel His love in your love.

Bro Steve said...

Just dropping a line to let you know how thankful we are for your openness, and we trust all is well with you. All is well on this end, as well.
We love you!!

Steve, Jackie, Matt, and Britt.

Heather said...

Joe and Karen are some of the most nurturing people I know and their blogs convey that. Their words are so comforting and soothing to my soul. Still hard to believe all this is true. I prayed again for you this morning and for a lifetime.
Love you, Heather Overholt

Trish Garcia said...

Dear Joe and Karen,

How kind of you to explain to us and to encourage us--your readers and 'pray-ers'. Thank you.