As this day draws to an end, I know that it is a date that I will never forget. A day that started with such promise and ended with a terrible tragedy.
This morning started out great. I went to the Friday Morning Prayer Breakfast at Fitzhugh Baptist Church. This is a breakfast for men.
A young man named Cory brought the message today. It was all about leadership. He told about several figures in the Bible that God chose to lead. He talked about Moses and Gideon. These men never thought of themselves as leaders, as a matter of fact, they felt that they were anything but leaders. But they listened to God and did his will. Cory also made the statement that you can love somebody but not necessarily lead them, but that you can't lead anybody that you don't love. Simple sentence, deep thought.
I took those statements to heart and when I got home, my wife and I did our daily reading in "The Purpose Driven Life". Today's reading talked about you. "Only you can be you". God gave each of us, different abilities. No one is the same. The chapter covered three ideas. 1. Applies your abilities. 2. Using your personality and 3. Employing your experiences.
I want to backup a minute and talk about last night. My wife and I invited our pastor and his wife over for dinner. We had a great time. I expressed my desire to use my abilities to help the church in some way. The first thing that he told me was to get involved in Sunday School. Odd request I thought, but I said OK. He said that it's in Sunday School that people learn the most about their fellow members. He said that God will lead you. Little did I know.
Now back to today. God in his grace gave me all these thoughts just in time. I was eating a late lunch around 2 this afternoon, when I heard my wife screaming in the other part of the house. She has had many health issues this year and I came running. She was crying and said that our next door neighbor had just called and that her husband had shot himself. She said he was gone. The last thing my wife told me as she ran out the house was that 911 hadn't been called and to make the call.
My wife is a rock in an emergency. She handles the stress quite well and deals with what is at hand. Me, on the other hand can get through it but it's very hard to get my emotions out of the way.
EMS had me on the line while the police were in route and asked me to look in the room where my neighbor had shot himself. They wanted to know if he was breathing. I took one look, one that will stay with me for my life, and turned away.
I was able to get though it and wait with my wife and the wife of the deceased. The lady was hysterical. It was a very difficult situation. But the emergency crews arrived and I was able to relax a little.
Now here comes the part that Jesus had prepared me for. Amazing. My wife was consoling the lady and I was waiting outside for the 2 sons and some grand kids to arrive. These folks have been my neighbors for 30 plus years and I watched these boys grow up. About 4 years ago, the third son died in the house of an overdose of drugs. Now we have a suicide.
This family is like any other family and there are a lot of family issues involved. But at the end of the day, they are a very close and loving family. I really didn't know if the husband was a christian or not. I missed an opportunity there. I will regret that one.
I knew that God wanted me to wait outside for the family members as they arrived. The place was crazy with all the police and fire department members there. All I knew to do, was to hug the boys as they got there and pray with them. Share Jesus with them. Let them know the my wife and I will be there for them.
It is amazingly simple. God puts you in position to share his word. I was feeling really good this morning. Then at the time of tragedy, I simply did what God had given to me. I have been though lots of trials this year and God was simply using my experiences to help someone else. Again, the simplicity amazes me. I was using all the tools that God gave me from the reading the book this morning and the prayer breakfast. I was prepared for the situation. How easy is that. Just make yourself available.
It was one of the most satisfying experiences in my life. God gave me such serenity and I was just able to use it to his glory. I had the opportunity that share Jesus with people all afternoon. I am not bragging on myself at all. I was just the instrument that allowed God to comfort these people. I just made myself available, that's all.
The most amazing thing is the feeling that you get. I know you have heard it, You don't need drugs or alcohol if you just get high on Jesus. I got high on Jesus today. And I want more......