I wish you were here, Matt. I wish we would have gotten a family picture in July of 2011. I wish I could be planning your graduation party. I wish I could be plowing through college application and financial papers with you. I wish I didn't have to put on a happy face with others when they're talking about the milestones they're experiencing with their teenager. I wish your little brothers didn't have to experience the loss of their big brother. I wish looking at pictures of you didn't make me cry. I wish God hadn't given us this sorrow to bear. I wish grief never existed. I wish I didn't have to refer to you in the past tense. I wish Jesus would hurry up and return.
I wish things were different. But they're not. This is reality. And this is the way things are. I can either wallow in grief, never moving forward, clinging to what was, or I can grab hold of God and allow Him to move me forward, to bring healing and goodness out of this. His grace is sufficient for me. It is sufficient for my family. I choose to let God be my all in all. I choose to let the loss of my son make me better, not bitter. And I do that by knowing and believing the truth. The truth is this: Do I long for Heaven or the God of Heaven? Do I long for the gift or the Giver of the gift? Do I want my own way or God's way? Do I value this life more or the one to come more? Do I believe my own deceitful heart, or do I believe Him who cannot lie?
The days, like today, when the ache of grief is overwhelming are the days when I must remember the truth. I must appropriate the grace God gives. I can wish in vain, or I can live in grace.
Streams in the Desert
More Than Conquerors
"In all these things we are more than conquerors through him
that loved us" (Rom. 8:37).
The Gospel is so arranged and the gift of God so great that you
may take the very enemies that fight you and the forces that are
arrayed against you and make them steps up to the very gates of
heaven and into the presence of God.
Like the eagle, who sits on a crag and watches the sky as it is
filling with blackness, and the forked lightnings are playing up
and down, and he is sitting perfectly still, turning one eye and
then the other toward the storm. But he never moves until he
begins to feel the burst of the breeze and knows that the
hurricane has struck him; with a scream, he swings his breast to
the storm, and uses the storm to go up to the sky; away he goes,
borne upward upon it.
That is what God wants of every one of His children, to be more
than conqueror, turning the storm-cloud into a chariot. You know
when one army is more than conqueror it is likely to drive the
other from the field, to get all the ammunition, the food and
supplies, and to take possession of the whole. That is just what
our text means. There are spoils to be taken!
Beloved, have you got them? When you went into that terrible
valley of suffering did you come out of it with spoils? When
that injury struck you and you thought everything was gone, did
you so trust in God that you came out richer than you went in?
To be more than conqueror is to take the spoils from the enemy
and appropriate them to yourself. What he had arranged for your
overthrow, take and appropriate for yourself.
When Dr. Moon, of Brighton, England, was stricken with
blindness, he said "Lord, I accept this talent of blindness from
Thee. Help me to use it for Thy glory that at Thy coming Thou
mayest receive Thine own with usury." Then God enabled him to
invent the Moon Alphabet for the blind, by which thousands of
blind people were enabled to read the Word of God, and many of
them were gloriously saved. --Selected
God did not take away Paul's thorn; He did better--He mastered
that thorn, and made it Paul's servant. The ministry of thorns
has often been a greater ministry to man than the ministry of