Our unbelievable week began on Sunday March 2. Our church was preparing for our annual Mission’s Conference. We were excited to see what God was going to do through our lives and through the lives of our church family. In the past few weeks, our pastor had been preparing the congregation by having sermons on fasting, prayer and giving. God is wanting our time, talents and treasures. What great preparation, as our hearts are being stirred and changed. In the midst of all these preparations, there were some unhappy events that were taking place within a couple of our dear families of the church. Children were facing afflictions: cancer growing in their little bodies.
Oh how we have prayed and cried over these precious children. Signs of affection have and are continuing to pour out to these sweet families: meals, financial giving, cards, balloons, hospital visits, prayer, encouraging text and Facebook messages. Such great support for those hurting. All of this happening as we go into our highlight of the year for our church: the Mission Conference.
March 2, as I am getting ready for the early worship service at our church, I turned on the television to listen to a local pastor preaching to his congregation. He announced that his sermon was going to be for parents of children who are going through various stages of affliction. He mentioned that there were 20 families in their church, (a few thousand members) that were going through the valley of despair with their precious little ones.
I quickly called a dear friend and grandparent of one of these children of our church and told her to turn on her television to hear these encouraging words. I also called and left a message for the mom of the child who was sick and informed her of the same program that was being broadcasted.
At the 9:00 service, Jim and I were sitting, listening to our pastor preach. (of course our cell phones are silenced). In the middle of the sermon, one of the assistant pastor’s came to our pew and told us that he needed to see us in the lobby. I thought it might be that one of our three grandchildren, who we were babysitting for the weekend, needed us. Our son and daughter in law were out of state for a few days. The assistant said that there was a family emergency and we were to call our son.
Everything and everyone was flashing through my mind in seconds as Jim called our son. Were they in a car accident? Did one of our mom’s die, after all they are in nursing homes and not doing well.? Why would they call our son? Why didn’t someone call us? What is happening? Then I remembered that our cell phones were turned off. Jim called our son, and then I heard him say, horrifying words: “Ben died!!!!!” “No” I cried, “Not one of my grandchildren.” After we composed ourselves to think of what was happening, we hurried home, leaving the three grandsons to attend Sunday School and children’s church so we could pack and head for North Carolina.
I wanted so badly to get to my daughter, Heidi, Ben’s mom. It was like a nightmare, striving to hurry but felt that I couldn’t get to her fast enough. Every move I was making felt like I was taking 10 steps backward. When we got home I grabbed almost everything in my closet and threw it in a suitcase. I packed a suitcase for our three grandsons that were staying with us, picked them up from church and headed for I-95. Our son and daughter in laws would meet up with us in North Carolina where Heidi and Tim live. When we finally arrived, hugged and cried with Tim and Heidi; they shared all that had taken place and how God was preparing them for Ben’s trip to live with God.
As I continue to share, you will see how our amazing God gently guided Tim and Heidi to March 2, and shared with them steps of His perfect plan for them and Ben. God has blessed these two amazing parents with six beautiful children. As Heidi carried each child through the pregnancies, she asked God to give her a verse for each child. What a great and wonderful idea to ask God about your child!!!!! God gave Heidi two verses for Ben.
Deuteronomy 33:12 “And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.”
Joshua 22:5 “But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charge you, to LOVE the Lord your God, and to WALK in all his way, and to KEEP his commandments and to CLEAVE unto him, and to SERVE him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Tim mentioned to us that Ben had come to him, about three weeks before his passing, and asked his dad to share with him how he could be sure he was living and doing all that God would have him do, in case anything would happen to him. ( this may have been around the date of his spiritual birthday celebration, February 7. Ben was saved around the age of five). Perhaps, without Tim’s awareness at the time, he was sharing with Ben the same thoughts and guidelines of Joshua 22:5. The verse God gave them before Ben was born. Wow! What a loving God. Our Counselor!
Then Tim and Heidi shared with us the praise song that Ben had been singing around the house for two days prior: “God, I want to see your glory”. He sang this non stop and they believe that Ben was worshiping God through His singing these words. Wow! Our God is the great, “I AM”.
In the early morning of March 2, Ben experienced God’s glory by entering the city of God.
Oh, what sadness we experience!
Oh, what joy for Ben!
Oh, what a Savior!
Oh, the endless tears we shed!
Oh, what a comforter in Christ!!!!
By God’s amazing grace, power and strength, Tim preached his son’s funeral. Only the true God who gave up His Son, Jesus, could help Tim speak amazing truth from God’s Word, as he gave up his son Ben, to God.
The day after Ben’s special service, we traveled back home to experience God working in the midst of our church family during their annual global conference. God’s workers who serve internationally were being blessed by the financial giving of our warm hearted church family. The church gave thousands of dollars for the workers to use in a project God has planned. That was the Thursday night of this remarkable week.
Then Sunday evening, God’s workers were showered with Christmas gifts for each member of these designated families. God also provided money for a family to have a car for their international work.
My heart is overwhelmed. What an amazing week. Only God could orchestrate a week like this!!!!
Our grandson is in the presence of God and all of His glory. God has spilled just a pinch of His glory over heaven’s balcony on Tim, Heidi and children. Through love, prayer, financial giving, words of peace and comfort from friends and family expressing their condolences, God is caring for Ben’s family.
As Jim and I sat on the couch last night and rehearsed what all God had done this past week, we both agreed that the only thing we could say is that we have an INDESCRIBABLE GOD!!!!!
Names of God:
Elohim – God
Yahweh – The LORD
El Elyon – God Most High
El Roi – God Who Sees
El Shaddai – God Almighty
Yahweh Yireh – The LORD Will Provide
Yahweh Nissi – The LORD is My Banner
Adonai – Lord
Yahweh Elohe Yisrael – LORD God of Israel
Yahweh Shalom – The LORD is Peace
Qedosh Yisrael – Holy One of Israel
Yahweh Sabaoth – LORD of Hosts
El Olam – The Everlasting God
Yahweh Tsidkenu – The LORD is Our Righteousness
Yahweh Shammah – The LORD is There
Attiq Yomin – Ancient of Days