Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What if It's God Speaking?

We closed Mom's memorial service with the song from Mandissa's new album. Mom liked watching American Idol. So we ended her funeral on a high note, "Only the World," played as people hugged and  exited the church, a feeling of celebration in the air rather than sorrow. I had Marty buy the album that morning because the idea to play that song hit me the day of. So I listened to the rest of the album as I drove home that night. Track 3 is called "God Speaking." The first line of verse 2 says, "Have you ever lost a loved one who you thought should still be here..." Why wasn't Mandissa sitting  right there in the passenger seat asking me the question in person? She might as well have been. "What if He's somehow involved? What if He's speaking through it all?" There was no question that God was evident throughout Mom's battle and death. I've never felt closer to Him. He was there. Yeah, God speaking. I get it. A few weeks ago I read a book called Into the  Deep, about a man who lost his wife and 4 kids in a flash flood earlier this decade. It was about how he kept his faith in God intact through out any man's worst nightmare. I read it wanting to be encouraged to be that kind of man, a man of faith no matter what happened in my life, no matter the loss, no matter the tragedy. I finished the book in less that 24 hours. Gripping, heart wrenching.  Marty asked me why I was torturing myself while in my own state of grief over Mom, but I told her I had to read it. Who would want to read about a man who had to identify all 5 of his family members after such a calamity? I surely wasn't reading it for pleasure. I just had to read it. Finished it on a Saturday, got a phone call from my sister the following Monday. In tears, she said, "I don't know how to say this... Dad has cancer." After the shock set in, the disbelief hovered, and a few shakes of the head, I thought, "Well, at least it's not my wife and 4 kids." Don't misunderstand me. I'm not making light of that man's tragedy, not in the least. I bawled my eyes out for him as I read his account. And I'm certainly not minimizing my dad's condition. I just realized, if we think we deserve fairness, then this life is not for us. Life is not fair. We get dealt heavy blows. Messenger after messenger after messenger approached Job telling him how he had lost everything and he was still able to fall down in worship and say, "May the Name of the Lord be praised." Yeah, the time between Mom's passing and Dad's imminent death (stage 4 lung cancer, people), seems cruel and unusual, but at least it's not my wife and 4 kids. And even if I had messenger after messenger approach me with debilitating tidings, I could do it. I could handle it, with Job as my example and God as my Father and Jesus as my Savior. Another line from Mandissa's song says, "His ways are higher, His ways are better..." Better? Yeah, better. I am so very glad I can hear God speaking through it all.


Char Blair said...

Pastor Shane, you my friend are an incredible man of God. You and your family are in my prayers. Lord, comfort and strengthen my friend today.

Hugs, Char

Thomas Hammond said...

Pastor Shane, I love that you are in my life. You have shaped me into who I am today. Thank you for your obedience to God. The strength you're displaying proves the very existence of God and encourages everyone in turn. I love you for who you are and am honored to serve by your side. Anything you need, just ask.


Carl said...

Shane you have always been such a good example to me. I admire the way that you are facing this passage of life. You have shown great bravery and strength and I know that this must be one of your greatest trials. I love you and am praying for you.

Your Friend,

Shirley said...

Pastor Shane, You are such a blessing to so many and a wonderful example of what a man of God should be. You helped my son in so many ways in dealing with his owns fathers passing and I can never thank you enough for that!

Shirley S.