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Hold On and Obey

December 28, 2012

We were all in a mini-van, driving to a conference when we heard the news of John’s death. We had stopped for gas and found out in the parking lot somewhere in the Mid-West during the cold of December. It was sobering and tragic. Tears were shed and shock ensued. We drove through the night with a softer chatter and more often, silence. We arrived at the conference in Ohio, a little less ready for the following days. One of the first songs the worship team played seemed of an odd choice for conference music…but it ministered to us all. Tears streaming down my face, we sang to this song:

Five years ago today John died of heart failure. I was not super close to him (though some of my friends knew him like a brother), but he was one of those people that really impacted you when you met him. He was goofy, fun, honest, faithful, real and more than anything else a man of God. He always exuded the love of Jesus and had such a passion for God.

Here’s John singing a song from Fiddler on the Roof. He always carried the love of God and had a beautiful message for all of us. May his words minister to you:

We can all learn from this…. with God it is always about relationship, not works. “Do you love me?” is a crucial question we must answer to God. Forget all the things you do for Him…do you love Him?

—-

I remember being at John’s funeral and weeping like a baby. Afterward his mother was talking to a few of us. Her words were that of courage and faithfulness.

A journal entry from January:

Meeting a woman of God during a tragic event can change your life.

In light of the circumstances, I was blessed and challenged to see this woman of God offering so much to people she had only just met. With the recent loss of her son, I cannot imagine what she must have been feeling.

I do know, she had the presence of God settling over her with such an impact that it touched me to stand only a few feet from her. She spoke to us with pure grace and conviction… a woman who knows the Lord in and out… who’s holding on no matter what. She grabbed my arm, looked me straight in the eyes and said through tears:

“The one thing I can tell you is to always obey God. No matter what–always obey God. And I’ll tell you, God is going to take you through some hard things, but you obey God. He doesn’t build bridges over things or dig trenches under them. He walks you through them, but you hold on and obey. People might think you’re crazy for what you’re doing, but if God tells you to do it, you better obey Him. You cry out to God–get in a place where you are alone with God and you cry out to Him. And you obey Him.”

I don’t think I’ve ever met a more courageous woman. I can understand now why her son was so passionate for God. Her words seared my heart forever. 

May we always be steadfast, Lord. Always.

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