(sub-titled: Be careful what you pray for)
This has been an interesting week for our Pastor. The wedding is pretty straight-forward, well, hopefully it will be.. it's tomorrow. I'm getting over being aggravated b/c the gift I bought was broken, so I had to go trekking back (in the rain) to exchange it. But finally, I have a 10 pc box of CorningWare to give. Yeah!! ANYWAY... the two funerals.... this was weird. OK. Weird isn't the right word. Try sobering. See....
There was this guy at our church (call him Bob) who decided to cheat on his wife... not just cheat, but moved in with his "new love" (incidentally also from our church). The leadership of our church tried talking with Bob, but he blew everybody off... determined to do what "felt right" to him. Fast forward two years. Earlier this week I got a call... Bob died Monday. We all knew he had health issues (from before he left his wife) but they weren't necessarily life-threatening.... now he's gone. Bob's funeral was Thursday. During the service, his wife's father dropped dead... right there during his estranged son-in-law's funeral. Wow. So now Pastor has another funeral to preach....
Be careful what you pray for. See, last Sunday night at the end of service, Pastor was praying that we as a church would have the opportunity to reach out to a number of young people who were raised in our church but have since "gone astray." Bob's 2 sons are among that group, and IMHO, some of the young ones who've strayed did so merrily following Bob's example. I say the whole two funeral thing is sobering b/c I can't help hoping that maybe *now* some of the young ones will be faced with the reality that God will not be mocked. A believer CANNOT sin continually & unrepentantly and expect God to sit back & not chastise. And to be honest, Bob was being chastised... he was said to have been miserable. (So miserable that his "new love" left him a few months ago.) Pastor had questioned if Bob ever knew the Lord at all... but you'd think that an unconverted man would have found happiness in his sin. Bob never did--he was miserable in his sin to the bitter end. And a premature end at that. So then....
We pray... that the young ones affected by Bob's death will turn to God in repentance for their own waywardness rather than turning away from God in bitterness.... that the last few miserable years of Bob's life will be an example to them of the consequences of "going ones own way" and that the suddenness of Bob's death will have a greater impact on them than his going astray did.... that the young ones will turn back to the Lord while there's still time.
And I wonder: what about me?? What am I holding on to that I *know* to be sin... presuming upon God's patience & love.... assuming that I'll have time to make things right "later"???
This week has just been a sobering reminder that none of us is promised tomorrow.. and it's wise to keep short accounts--with men & with God.
Update on 'Bob'.... Pastor mentioned in church this morning that Bob had been turning back around over the last two weeks or so before his death... begun reading his Bible again, apologized to his family for the mess he'd caused, etc. He's reported to also have said: "If I had only done what I knew was the right thing to do." So we continue to pray for his family..... The Lord knows & loves them just the same -- meaning He desires us to be reaching out to them just as we should have been before their loss. Yea, sobering.
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