“Faith and Hope” – two words I write a great deal about. I have come to realize that these two things hinge on another thing: TRUST. I cling to faith and hope and am able to because I trust. Whom do I trust? Obviously, I trust in my creator, the almighty God. Don’t misunderstand. I have moments where I slip up. Doubt creeps in and that unflattering characteristic of complaining. I’m thankful for those times when I am jerked back into right thinking, which I experienced this week.
I found myself irritated with a situation. I was displeased with something I saw as injustice. But when I read my daily devotional, I was reminded to take nothing for granted. If I focus too much on something that displeases me, I start taking for granted the very basic good gifts that I see each day – sunshine, flowers, and life.
You see, life is not perfect. We all know that. And no matter how hard we work at making our world perfect, it doesn’t matter whether we’re over prayed or under prayed, life is going to happen and life is fragile. What happens when one of these very basic gifts is snatched away by life’s events? Then we have to trust that God will heal and provide for us and others in those desperate times of need – during those life events that we do not understand. Faith and hope well up from within because we learn to trust God in every situation.
I was irritated and focused on something that displeased me until I read two things that brought correction to my thinking: the daily devotion and an incredible tribute to a young lad whose life was cut short through no fault of his own or anyone in his family. In my previous blog, “Resurrection Hope,” I mention an encounter I had with a family who had suffered a tremendous tragedy. I came across this memorial tribute to a beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, and friend. This family is experiencing trust like never before. They are trusting God for hope, healing, and faith as they continue their earthly journey. And as I read, I was once again humbled and prayed that I would not take life, sunshine, and the flowers for granted.
My name is Luke and I am your son, grandson, brother, nephew, friend, classmate and teammate. My life spanned almost 11 years and I couldn’t have been happier than to spend all that time with you. I loved everything about life. If there was a sport, I played it. If there was a game, I played it. I studied when I had to and I loved my teachers even if they had to occasionally get after me. I loved playing with my brothers — Joe, Sam and Tyler — and my sister Anna. I loved being with Mom and Dad and asking them a million questions. I always told my parents I loved them and hugged them every night. I couldn’t wait for recess to play with my friends and especially my cousin Eli. I loved to tell jokes and pull pranks with my friends and on my friends (anyone need 65 hamburgers from Sonic?). I always smiled because I knew it would make others happy. I was told I have cute dimples and I wouldn’t argue with that. I was looking forward to playing baseball this spring on the same team as my brother Sam, and my dad was going to be the coach. I wanted to go to Royals games and to summer camp with Scout Troop 601. My dad is an Eagle Scout and I wanted to be just like him. There was never any chocolate that I didn’t like. I’m sure you will find that hidden bag of candy in my room soon. Just know that it wasn’t my fault! Every time I went to Grammy’s house I’d ask her if she had any Grammy Bars (they are the best!) and if she said no then I’d smile real big, act disappointed, point both thumbs down and say ‘Dang It.’ I wish I had more time to spend with all of you but Jesus must have needed me more. I haven’t asked him why He needed me so soon but I will. I hope you can feel the hugs I’m giving you now and I hope you always will. I will watch over all of you until the day we meet again. I’ll miss Mom and Dad, my sister and brothers, my Grandpa and Grandma, Papa and Grammy. And I’ll sure miss all my cousins — Emily, Allison, Jake, Will, Andy, Eli, Nathan, Zac, Kylie, Tate, Addy, Timothy, Samantha and Alex. And Uncle Chris and Aunt Stef, Uncle Jeff and Aunt Beth, Uncle Alex, Uncle Walt and Aunt Anice, Uncle Tim and Aunt Tara, Uncle Patrick and Aunt Pam, and Aunt Emily Ann — I’ll miss them too. I’m now happy in heaven with Uncle Bubby who has already been here almost two years. He’s showing me all the neat places to hang out. There are many mansions here, just like it says in the Bible, and they are really cool. Most of all I want you to know how much I love and miss you. I’ll see you here some day but in the meantime I’ll be watching over you. Please don’t forget me and my smile.