“Satan may power the ship of evil, but God steers it to serve His own ends and purposes.” Steve Estes.
Yesterday, on February 24, 2004 our son, Michael was murdered. It’s been fifteen years since our loss. We miss him so much, not withstanding all the memories we hold dear in our hearts. He taught us so much; like how to be a leader, and how to press on in learning new things and so much more, that I would love to share but haven’t the time. The sorrow, amidst changed that came into our life the day he died causes us to recognize nothing is permanent here on this earth. Who would have ever known? But then again we are never promised tomorrow. I look forward to the day I will see him again, in heaven. What a grand reunion it will be!
“God Permits what He hates to accomplish what He loves.” Steve Estes
“Jesus was murdered too! Jesus was…delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men who put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, for it was impossible for Him to be held in the power of death.” (Acts 2:22-24). Such evil was permitted by a loving God to accomplish redemption for mankind.
Looking back I see how my identification with Christ coupled with what He suffered on the cross became very personal. I identified more and. I’ve come to understand in a deeper way the anguish of the ultimate cost of sin and the high cost of redemption, God’s own Son!
In trial we learned the perpetrator’s heart which was set on evil. The court trial was ebbing back and forth and it seem at times odds were against us, because so many things happened that were frankly unjust. On a better note, I recall when friends came and circled around me to pray when I had to testify. All day they prayed! I thank God for faithful praying friends. You see the defense told me I would testify in the morning, then all day they made me wait, telling me I would be next. Truth be told, I was the last one to testify that day. It was at around 4:00. My testimony was basically, that I was indeed Michael’s mom, and that was my privilege. I thank God He picked me to be Michael’s mom. About thirty people showed up daily during trial; which consist of family and friends. The trial took four month to end. Our family witnessed God stands holy and true to His mission: To destroy the works of the devil. We saw with out own eyes the wisdom of God.
During the court proceedings I held onto God’s word to fortify me. One Scripture that really ministered to me was found in 2 Chron 20:12 “O Our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude (the defense) who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” This Scripture reminded me that as we remained powerless, all power was held in our gracious Father’s hands. The only thing I knew to do was to keep my eyes on God, and He would faithfully see it through. And He did! This is a beautiful passage of Scripture filled with lessons to learn on how to depend on God when the enemy is against you.
Another Scripture that speaks of God’s justice where each person will stand accountable before a holy God for their actions states: “The Lord has made everything; for its own purposes, even the wicked for the day of evil.”(Prov 16:4) I learned God punishes in His time and way.
The man responsible for Mike death was convicted of first degree of murder, his motives were for financial gain. 1 Tim 6:19 says, “But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.”
I can’t understand why these things came upon us but I see in Isaiah 55:8-9 “God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, for He says, “neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” I also come to accept that some things are for God alone.
In the first book of Philippians in verse 29, we learn: it has been granted to suffer for Christ’s sake. It is a privilege! God has considered me worthy to carry this heavy cross, and this I will gladly do. Only in God’s power and strength.
My family has victoriously overcome one of the most terrifying circumstances one could bear. I have witnessed growth in our family. A binding of wounds that has forever changed us, as God has done an incredible work in each of us. And now we stand amazed at what He is doing presently. God is so amazing!
God gives and He takes away, blessed be the Name of the Lord. Our Lord by His sovereign grace has permitted our precious son, Michael to go home early. Now look at what He has done! He’s given us two Michael’s. Our son named his son after our Michael, and our daughter is adopting a Michael. They can’t take the place of our son but we marvel at God’s work and recognize His blessings upon our family. Too, God has expanded our family though our daughter who is in the process of adopting. We are blessed to have seven grandchildren…in which we delight in. We never would have expected such blessings, and daily thank God for His goodness. To God be the Glory!!!
My mom died several years after Michael. In going through some of her things I found a small old book, titled: Kept for the Master’s Use, by Frances Ridley Havergal. The book was so old it didn’t even have a publishing date. Frances has written the song, “Take My Life and Let it be…consecrated Lord to thee.” She took the word “take” to this simple song and exchanged it for “keep” Her chapters are: “Our Lives Kept for Jesus” “Our Moments Kept for Jesus” “Our Hands Kept for Jesus” then continues through our “voices”, “lips”, “intellect”, “wills”, “heart”, “love” and lastly “Our Selves Kept for Jesus!” This book was so meaningful to me bringing comfort when Michael passed away. I am sure my mom would have felt joy that it ministered to me so much.
I wanted to close by sharing just a small portion of this book.
“Not for “me” at all, but “for Jesus”; not for my safety, but for His glory; not for my comfort, but for His joy; not that I may find rest, but that He may see the travail of His soul, and be satisfied! Yes, for Him I want to be kept. Kept for His sake; kept for His use; kept to be His witness; kept for His joy! Kept for Him, that in me He may show forth some tiny sparkle of His light and beauty; kept to do His will and His work in His own way; kept (it may be) to suffer for His sake; kept for Him, that He may do just what seemeth Him good with me; kept, so that no other lord shall have all there is to have – little enough, indeed, but not divided or diminished by any other claim. Is not this, O you who love the Lord-is not this worthy living for, worth asking for, worth trusting for?”
Jesus is all I need! Nothing more nothing less…just give me Jesus!