Tuesday, November 17, 2009

16 Years Later...

Every year, November 18th roles around and I am just awed by my vivid memory of that day back in 1993. Even though it is 16 years later and at the time - having a mind of a unemotional seven-year-old - I remember that morning like it happened today.

Death is never easy, especially when it is an immediate family member and in my case, my little brother. I often wonder what he would like like if he was alive, or where he would attend college? Would he have a girlfriend? What would be his hobbies? Would we be really close? And while I reflect on the day and the "what ifs...", I take a deeper look at the many, many blessings the Lord has given my family. And let me tell you -- I could go on and on and on and on.

And our blessings in life wouldn't occur without the many storms we also endure through life...

Joseph and I are both in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) [We are studying the book of John this year] and this past week was on John 6:1-21 - This section of John 6 tells us about the miracle of Jesus feeding of the five thousand and Jesus walking on the water towards the disciples during the storm. When the disciples were out on the boat right after feeding the five thousand -- they were caught in a great storm and struggling to get to the other side. Jesus saw their struggle and went out to them and delivered them.

Few things I was thinking - Jesus helps us during our trials and He will not let us be tempted or tried beyond what we are able to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). When the disciples were struggling against the storm and we getting weary with "rowing" and going nowhere - Jesus watched, estimated their strength and delivered them at the perfect time -- and that is the same with us. During our "storms,"He is with us, he sees us, he is thinking and praying for us -- just like he did with Shadrack, Meschack and Abednego in Daniel 3. And in every trial and storm - the Lord provides a way out... he may use a different means than we anticipated, yet He will always bring us through to His destination. In my family's case, the death of Kyle wasn't what we wished -- but He brought us through and we experienced Jesus with us... and still do.

So remember - if you are doing through something hard - the Lord is always watching. He knows, He cares, He heals, He saves, He holds us in His hands, He loves.... Take it to the Lord. Embrace Him - take him into your boat just like the disciples did. It is amazing when we do that, how He takes our hand and walks us through it to His destination, one step at a time.

And while this storm is still hard and every year the anniversary of Kyle's death falls during a time of thankfulness - when I think about it, I am truly thankful. I am thankful that Kyle is rejoicing with the Lord in Heaven. Thankful to the Lord that He has made me who I am from this situation. I am thankful for my husband. And for my beautiful and God fearing & serving Family. THANKFUL For Jesus - who died on the cross, for me and you...and saved me from eternal punishment. Thankful for an amazing small group. Thankful for amazing high school girls. Thankful for amazing friends to serve with. Thankful for my job. Thankful for a house. So ..Thankful.

So, as I think about Kyle today, I think about God's grace and His unfaltering love. Today is hard. It will always be. But, we have a great God who has used this storm-this situation- this trial -and turned it into gold. May He continually be glorified through this situation. It is not how my family and I all turned out to be but how God changed our lives to always point this situation back to him...

Praying for my family today. It will always be hard.

Matthew 19:14

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Kyle Christian Plantz. 04.13.90-11.18.93