An enviable life…

Isaiah 57:1-2

The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness

Yesterday I turned 39 years old, I wish I could say that my days were filled with righteousness…they were not. In fact it has only been for about the last 15 years that I really began to seek after God. To be sure I still have my days; days when I feel as though I am far less than a conqueror. I suppose we all do, then again I suppose this is why we should lift even higher the banner of Christ…”he is patient with us, desiring all to come to repentance.”

How desperately I wish I could turn back the clock; that I might do things right, do things as God would have me…and to do those things from my youth. Not that I desire in any way to have a different life, but instead to have a better life. Better being defined as less baggage, a less sin packed flesh that uses every opportunity to wage its war against my soul.

Despite the burden this baggage presents, it’s also a reminder to me of how great God’s grace really is, and likewise the confirmation that “all things really do work together for good, to those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” God has allowed me the opportunity to use this past in a way that glorifies Him…and Him alone, warning others of the dangers that lurk within the glitz and the glimmer of a sin filled life.

While I am grateful for the life God has allowed me to live, I must confess that there is a part of me that envies those who seem to have understood God’s love for us much earlier in life, and have spent their lives loving him back. Krista Newton was one of those people. We first met her through some friends, and soon we became friends as well. She was enthralled with adoption and caring for the orphans. In fact I often thought that she might be the next Katie Davis, moving to some far away land and mothering the motherless.

Of course Krista was not only a lover of orphans, she also loved her family as deeply as any I have ever known. She would tell my wife often how much her parents meant to her and how much she loved her siblings. Krista seemed to have it all together in life, and there is no question that she spent her life for the glory of the king. This in part is why the events that unfolded sometime yesterday are so hard to understand.

Lori was taking a nap, and I went for an afternoon run. I returned from my run and was on the back porch when I heard the door open.  I looked up to see Lori and knew immediately that something was wrong. She was inconsolable. She could hardly get the words out to tell me about Krista’s passing. We went inside and we prayed. The next few hours we spent asking ourselves as well as God a lot of questions. At the top of that list was…Why? “Why God, did you allow this to happen to such a one as this. She loved you Lord, from the depths of her soul…she loved you.”

We talked about all the good she was doing for the kingdom, the plans for her next mission trip, her recent engagement, and of course the love she had always shown to others. The truth is that we may spend the rest our lives asking these questions and reminiscing about all the good she had done in such a short life, and likewise all the good she could have done with so much life left to live. I am reminded however that when David’s work here was done, he fell asleep.  I am also reminded that Paul’s greatest desire was to be with the Lord, and that while Krista loved her life, her purpose for living it was to Glorify the God that gave it, and to one day venture on to meet him face to face and forevermore. She sits now on a much loftier perch knowing better than we what it means to enter into His perfect peace.

Krista, you never made much of your presence or tried too hard to draw attention to yourself. Your goal in life was always to make known the presence of God and to draw attention to your savior. Though this be the case, be assured your absence will be felt.

Rest now weary one, and enjoy the presence of your savior as you enter into your reward. You have been an inspiration to many, and I pray my daughters will look to your example and follow suit. I pray that Lori and I can be the kind of parents that your parents have been to you, that our children will love one another as deeply as you loved your own siblings, and lastly I pray that we will all love each other as you have loved each of us.

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