I’m currently flying home from speaking at a youth camp in Florida. The theme of the camp was “Flood: How to handle the storms of life.” I preached through the book of Jonah all week, and enjoyed sharing my heart with these high school students. We talked a lot about how hard this life is, but how important it is to trust the Lord and glorify Him in all things…even hard things. As I wrapped the camp up this morning, little would I know what this day would hold.
As I was headed to the airport this morning, I got a call that one of our church members, a young mother of three, was unresponsive and was having CPR done on her. I know this family well. Two of this family’s boys are in the same grade as my two oldest sons. We love this family so much. I hung up the phone and prayed with my friend who was taking me to the airport. Once I got to the airport, it wasn’t long before I found out she had passed away in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. My heart broke…I wept…I prayed…I communicated with the staff…I was just overwhelmed.
As the day went on, another friend of ours we have been praying for, who is battling cancer, took a turn for the worst this morning, and I found out that she is on the brink of meeting Jesus. It could be any hour…it could even be as I’m writing this. She is also a young mother in her 30’s, just like my other friend who went to be with the Lord this morning. This lady is married and has a 4 year old daughter. Oh how my heart grieved when I read her husband’s post (***UPDATE: this dear friend just went to be with Jesus at 4pm today, July 5, 2014***).
I also just read another update on Caringbridge from another young mother of 7 children, who is battling terminal cancer at an alternative care facility in Arizona. She is also in her 30’s and barring a miracle, she looks to meet Jesus at some point in the near future as well. Her husband put out an encouraging post today, but her physical situation requires nothing short of a miracle.
Three mothers…one who has already gone to be with Jesus…one very close…and another fairly close as well. I was reminded of this verse…a verse Emily and I clung to so often in the hospital: “From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I (Psalms 61:2).” Time and time again, I have to remember that when life is overwhelming…I have to go to the “Rock” that is higher than I. I have to run to my Savior Jesus Christ…the only stability in my life…the only constant source of strength…the only true peace. I cannot imagine not having Jesus Christ to run to.
All three of these families are Christians…which is fantastic…but still hard is so many ways. I grieve for the husbands, the kids, family members, church families, friends, etc. But, I grieve with hope. The lady who went to be with Jesus this morning accepted Christ three years ago at our church as a 36 year old woman. As I wept today, I wept with gratitude in my heart to God for reaching down and saving her three years ago! I can’t imagine facing this day unsure of where she stood with the Lord…but three years ago she bowed her knee to Jesus, and because of that, she is in His presence forever and ever. She loved Trey and I smile thinking of she and Trey being together.
But I just want to say one thing…and I hope you will really listen to this one simple thing;
YOU NEED TO KNOW JESUS CHRIST!!! Oh dear friend come to Jesus…come and find forgiveness…come and find life! Listen to me, you are not guaranteed another breath, and what you do with Jesus in this life determines where you go in the next. Jesus is the only way to heaven…NO ONE gets to the Father except through Him! TODAY is the day of salvation and if you don’t know Christ, here is what you need to do RIGHT NOW:
-You need to admit you have sinned
-You need to repent…turn from your sin and trust in Jesus
-You need to believe Jesus Christ was the sinless Son of God, that He died on the Cross for your sin and that He was raised from the dead showing His power over all things
-You need to confess Jesus as Lord…simply said, Jesus needs to be the “boss of your life.”
If you are ready to accept Christ, pray this prayer right now and believe it with all your heart (these are not magic words…this needs to be a prayer of faith and the true confession of your heart…and don’t pray this prayer unless you’re ready to leave all for the One you are giving your life to. This is not a ‘get a out of hell prayer’…this is a give your entire life to Jesus prayer). So, if you’re ready, pray it in faith:
“Jesus, I know I’m a sinner. I’ve done wrong. And right now, I repent of my sin and place my trust in You. I believe You died on the Cross for me…for my sin, and I believe You were raised from the dead to give me true life. Jesus, I give You my life…be the boss of my life…be my Lord. I love You Jesus and mean this prayer with all my heart. Thank you for saving me, for dying for me, and for giving me life.”
If you prayed that prayer for the first time…please let me or someone know!!! According to the Word of God, you are a Christian now and have been born again. Get involved in a Bible believing/preaching church and tell a pastor of your decision.
Listen to me…life is so short and so fragile. Give your life to Jesus and live for eternal things!!!
God is our refuge and strength. An ever present help in times of trouble. Thank you Pastor Jeremy for reminding us the brevity of life and that our Jesus overcomes death and hell. Therefore, I rejoice in this truth!