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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 02  Does Jesus Really Care???

 

As most of you are aware, I lost my daughter just before Christmas past to a violent crime.  She was murdered by an ex-boyfriend (I use that term loosely), and I feel that it’s time to share some things about this difficult time, to be an encouragement to you in whatever trials you may be facing.  Let me preface it by sharing Paul’s testimony of God’s faithfulness, regardless of how things may look.

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice,

that it might depart from me.

9 And he said unto me,

My grace is sufficient

for thee:

for my strength is made perfect

in weakness.

Most gladly therefore

will I rather glory

in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ

may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure

in infirmities,

in reproaches,

in necessities,

in persecutions,

in distresses

for Christ’s sake:

for when I am weak,

then am I strong.”   2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Our tragedy seemingly came out of nowhere, but God was not caught ‘off guard’, and I take great comfort in the total and complete sovereignty of my God!  And while God is holy, righteous and pure and in our fallen word, sin does still work around us!  We sometimes forget that when Adam and Eve fell, they threw all mankind into the throes of the after-effects of sin.

And unto Adam he said,

Because thou hast hearkened

unto the voice of thy wife,

and hast eaten

of the tree,

of which I commanded thee, saying,

Thou shalt not eat of it:

cursed is the ground

for thy sake;

in sorrow shalt thou eat of it

all the days of thy life;

18 Thorns also and thistles

shall it bring forth to thee;

and thou shalt eat

the herb of the field;

19 In the sweat of thy face

shalt thou eat bread,

till thou return unto the ground;

for out of it wast thou taken:

for dust

thou art,

and unto dust

shalt thou return.”   Genesis 3:17-19

We live in a sinful, broken world, and while our personal sin doesn’t necessarily cause our trials and troubles, original sin causes the problems that surround us in our fallen world.  Original sin causes people to choose unwisely, to reject God, to go down a road that Jesus said, “leadeth to destruction”!

Enter ye in at the strait gate:

for wide is the gate,

and broad is the way,

that leadeth to destruction,

and many there be

which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate,

and narrow is the way,

which leadeth unto life,

and few there be

that find it.”   Matthew 7:13-14

People still ask me, “How do you do it?”; and my reply is the same today as it was the day my daughter died, “God’s still God, God’s still good, and I still trust Him!”  Why? Because, like Paul, I have walked with Jesus through thick and thin; I have succeeded in my Christian walk and I have failed HIM miserably; I have felt exultant joy and indescribable sorrow; I have shouted glory to God on the mountain tops, and cried in deep despair when life seemed to turn to ashes; and in all these things, times, and crises I have had a loving Savior walking beside me who has NEVER failed me—NEVER!  And He will never fail!

Let your conversation

be without covetousness;

and be content

with such things as ye have:

for he hath said,

I will never leave thee,

nor forsake thee.

6 So that we may boldly say,

The Lord is my helper,

and I will not fear

what man shall do

unto me.

7 Remember them

which have the rule over you,

who have spoken unto you the word of God:

whose faith follow,

considering the end of their conversation.

8 Jesus Christ

the same yesterday,

and to day,

and for ever.”  Hebrews 13:5-8

As Paul declared God’s reassurance to him, we can count on the God whose “grace is sufficient for thee”!  And just as HE was “sufficient” to Paul, HE was, is and ever shall be “sufficient” to us!  HE IS my confidence, strength and hope in all things—especially recent events.  Jesus IS my total confidence because I have received Him as my Lord and Savior, and I have chosen to draw near to Him through His Word and, as the Psalmist said, I “delight” in HIM!  For you see, we have the God-given privilege to choose—we can choose that “broad …way, that leadeth to destruction” or we can respond to God’s call upon our heart and “Enter…in at the strait gate… which leadeth unto life”.  I didn’t just “choose” God on that fateful day that ended my daughter’s life, but I have walked with HIM for nigh unto 45 years, and I have always found Him faithful, even when I have had moments of “faithlessness”, just like everyone else.  We can choose to “stay down” or we can remember that “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”, and repent and find His forgiveness and cleansing.

If we confess our sins,

he is faithful and just

to forgive us

our sins,

and to cleanse us

from all unrighteousness.”  1 John 1:9

That’s shouting ground!  I’m not perfect, but I am forgiven, and I know where to find forgiveness when I fall—IN “Jesus Christ the righteous”!  How about you?  I would like to share a brief account of the experience that we have walked through these last weeks and months; I pray that it will serve as a beacon of hope to others, for I have no desire to “go public” for my own glory, but only and always the glory of my KING Jesus!

It was a typical, uneventful Thursday to begin with, as I was praying and reading as usual, yet I just couldn’t get my daughter off of my mind.  I clearly felt prompted of the Lord to call her, and we had our own little code, I texted her to ask if she was sleeping or working (as she was almost always working or trying to catch up on her sleep), and she answered that she was on her way to work. So, I called her (she has a car connection for her phone), and we visited for a while and said our ‘goodbyes’ and our “I love you”s, as she was almost to her store.  Then my eldest son called, as he usually does on weekday mornings, and we had a good visit and hung up about 8ish as usual.  I went about my reading and praying, and about 8:30 my brother called and asked if my middle son was still working at a particular store (he had been working at the same store that my daughter was then managing) and I said “no”, and he replied “good”; which shocked me and I asked, “Why do you say ’good’?”, and he said that a male and a female had been shot and killed at that store.  I told him I’d call him later and hung up, as he didn’t know that my daughter had taken over that store, and started to call my daughter’s phone continually, with no answer.

I called a sheriff friend and asked if he could check to see if it was my daughter who was killed, and he said that was the ‘city’ police and they wouldn’t tell him any details in an active investigation (which I already knew) but I asked him to please check and he did, to no avail.  I then went to our local store where she had been the manager and talked to the present manager (my friend and hers) and she tried to call the district manager (as she would have been the first person the police would have called) with no answer.  I went back home and then my two younger sons started calling and saying they were on the scene and couldn’t find anything out, and they were both beside themselves so I told my husband that we needed to go to Lawton (about 30 miles from our home) to see what was going on (thinking that she could have confronted a thief).  When we left, we stopped by the local store to tell our friend that we were headed to Lawton, and she was bawling like a baby, so I immediately asked if she had just heard from the district manager, and she said, ‘yes’.  I asked if it was my daughter who was killed, and she said ‘yes’, so we immediately headed that way!  That was one of the longest drives that I have ever made, but I kept asking God to help me be and do whatever HE asked of me/us.

When we got to the scene, I went under the barrier and signaled for the officer to come, and he told me to get back out of the barrier and I told him I wanted to know if that was my daughter who had been killed.  We had a brief interchange, and after talking to another officer they told me that they had just identified the victim and sent me to the police station.  At the station the officers were most cordial and helpful to us in such difficult circumstances.  After answering their questions, I asked if the other victim was an employee, and they responded, “no” and I inquired who it was—and long story short—when he called out the name, it was my daughter’s former ‘boyfriend’ (for lack of a better term) and then I was able to tell him what had happened.  She was months out of the relationship–but desperate people do desperate things—and when he was unable to press her return, he intentionally stalked her, found her and shot her to death, then turned the weapon on himself.  I can’t describe the feelings that I experienced, but I know that my Lord was there with me, and I had the calm resolve to go through the interrogation and know that God was not caught off-guard or surprised—saddened, but not surprised.

As we returned home and began to take care of the things that you have to take care of, I found an unrivaled peace that I couldn’t explain, but as I told people on that day and still do, “God’s still God, God’s still good, and I still trust Him.”  I realize that my daughter had made some wrong decisions and choices and one of them cost her her life.  I am a private person, and I told my husband that night that I didn’t think I could write my blog the next morning, and he said to do what I felt like I could.  Through the night The Lord would wake me and give me a scripture, I’d go back to sleep, and then He would wake me with another scripture through the night.  When I woke up the next morning, I told the Lord that I didn’t think that I could write, and I heard His voice (not audibly) whisper in my spirit, “You have hope, others do not!  You. Must. Share. Truth. With. Them!”  And I went into my den and the words flowed so seamlessly from The Lord as I shared the truth of the peace that I felt, all “Because He Lives” in my heart!

I also had determined to avoid the media at all costs, and God spoke to my heart the same message, and after things were settled down a bit, I agreed to a TV interview, yet I still had only one message—God is faithful and women and men need to make choices in compliance with The Word of God!  Just because the world says “sin” is ok—God doesn’t, and the rules haven’t changed. (You can view it on Bible Ballistics FB page 12/31/19).

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”  Hebrews 13:8

And this same Jesus who gave Himself for us, Is The One who keeps me/us secure in His Love, and like Job I clearly proclaim:

Though he slay me,

yet will I trust in him:

but I will maintain mine own ways

before him.”  Job 13:15

So, in closing, my question for all of us is simply, do you “trust in him”?  Not just saying you “trust in him”, but with Job, understanding that our life choices are a testament to a faith in Him or a lack of the same!  I want to close with an old song that I heard just this week, in fact it inspired this post and I pray that it will speak to your heart as it did to mine; for Jesus really does care!

This song was written by Frank E. Graeff, out of personal trials, as he pondered on 1 Peter 5:7, and I’ve included the immediate context that reminds us of God’s perfect provision:

Humble yourselves therefore

under the mighty hand of God,

that he may exalt you

in due time:

7 Casting all your care

upon him;

for he careth for you.

8 Be sober, be vigilant;

because your adversary

the devil,

as a roaring lion,

walketh about,

seeking whom he may devour:

9 Whom resist stedfast

in the faith,

knowing that the same afflictions

are accomplished in your brethren

that are in the world.

10 But the God of all grace,

who hath called us

unto his eternal glory

by Christ Jesus,

after that ye have suffered a while,

make you perfect,

stablish,

strengthen,

settle you.

11 To him be glory

and dominion

for ever

and ever. Amen.”  1 Peter 5:6-11 

Does Jesus Care    By Frank E Graeff


Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress
And the way grows weary and long?

Refrain
Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.


Does Jesus care when my way is dark

With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?

Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.


Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed

To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?

Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.


Does Jesus care when I’ve said goodbye

To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks,
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?

Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.
         

Amen and Amen!!!