So, it has been a while since we put anything on here...a long while. I assure you that is not because we have nothing to tell you about. I promise a post soon on all of the Gabby updates (and there are many).
Tonight I have a heavy heart. That isn't uncommon these days. Last week I preached on the 6 month anniversary of Livi's death and have never felt so physically weakened by what I was feeling emotionally. But, the Lord's carried me and gave me all I needed to preach all three services. But back to my point....
My heart is heavy tonight, because I have been reminded again about the sting of death. A couple that I went to high school with, Jason and Meredith, lost their baby girl, Emma, yesterday morning. I grew up playing baseball with him in the summer and he was my QB in high school. Great couple. You would all love them.
In the middle of scanning social media during the Super Bowl, my FB newsfeed greeted me with news of their loss. My team (yeah, a 49ers fan from TX...makes no sense to many) made some bad plays, bad calls, and ultimately, lost the game, but I was reminded in an instant that it didn't matter. It is just a game. Nothing strong enough to carry your hopes...just a game. Only able to allow you to momentarily escape reality, but powerless to do anything about it...just a game.
In the moment that I read that status update, I was brought back to reality and in that moment of clarity, it occurred to me that I am a member of a club that I want no one else to ever be a part of.
In elementary school, I was told that it was unkind to exclude people from your clubs (you know, "No Girls Allowed," etc.) and often got in trouble for doing so. But this is a club that I wish I could bolt the doors to and allow no one else to enter. Not because I am hateful and exclusive, but because the pain we carry is a pain I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
I am a grieving parent.
In recent weeks, I have been reminded that this sojourn that we are in called life isn't home and I have been longing more and more for Heaven. I am waiting for that new city in Revelation 21:
 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
I am increasingly thankful for the hope of the gospel. Thankful that the finished work of Jesus means that I won't always be welcoming people into my club. I am also thankful that God the Father knows the pain of losing a child. In the gospel, we get a God who isn't detached, but a God who can sympathize with his people. What is even better news is that not only can he sympathize; he offers hope. Because he gave up his Son, we won't always be giving up our kids. What a good day that will be.
Please join us in praying for Jason, Meredith and their oldest daughter, Maddie.
If you are interested, you can read their story here.