One comment Jason made pleased us very much. “I never would have believed it if I hadn’t come into your home to see with my own eyes, and felt with my whole being that this thing called “Family Love” is real.” Alicia tried to tell me that these kinds of family ties do exist, and I wouldn’t believe it. But I see it is very true, for they are here and it is beautiful.
As Jason stepped on the plane, our hearts were longing after him. I’m going back to nothing, he had said on the way back to the airport. I have never known this kind of Love before. We asked him to please keep Alicia’s New Phillip’s translation Bible. We kept on loving Jason and praying for him, hoping that we will know the right things to do and say that will help him open his heart and life to Christ. Our hope is that he will find out just how much he is loved and how valuable he is.
I have discovered that God has another way of using the suffering and pain in our lives. The apostle Paul describes it this way:
What a wonderful God we have. He is the father of our Lord Jesus Christ and the source of every mercy.
He is the one who so wonderfully comforts and he strengthens us in our hardships and trial.
Why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same Help and comfort God has given us.
You can be sure the more we undergo trials, the more he will shower us with his comfort, and encouragement. But in our trouble God has comforted us and this is to help you. To show you from our personal experience how God will tenderly comfort you when you undergo these same sufferings, he will give you strength and endurance.
Sometime ago in the Detroit area, a beautiful 17 year old girl vanished. Three weeks later the girl’s body was uncovered in an area not too far away from her home. She had been sexually attacked and brutally and mercifully killed. Michael and I watched the televised report and read the newspaper with sympathy and deep understanding. How well Michael and I could relate to this. We could see their courage, but we knew the anguish of their own hearts.
I kept thinking of the parents and their movements. Particularly after the first bewildering days of bereavement had passed. I knew so well what they were experiencing. Though they were strangers to us, I sat down and wrote them a letter expressing our understanding and Love. I shared what had happened in our lives, and how God has given the needed Grace and Strength. I assured them of our constant prayers for God’s gracious touch of healing in their broken hearts.
The mother called one day soon after she received the letter. She told me of the tremendous pain she was going through, because of the situation. Some time ago she came to me for help and Spiritual guidance. During our conversation I related some of the incidents and insights surrounding Alicia’s death. We shared our own experience of God’s Grace at that time. This friend was fairly a new Christian and God had been opening her eyes to many valuable biblical truths. She had not understood them before, but she was growing tremendously. Then one morning she awoke to find her 21 year old son dead of carbon- monoxide poisoning. I knew her world went crumbling in an instant. A few days after the funeral, my new friend put her arm around me and said “I knew you understood.” I never would have made it if God had not taught me through you. What you shared with me, through our conversations is what helped me so much during these especially difficult days. I could look at you and remember what God has done for your family and it gives me confidence that the same God would do this for me, as he has.
All of these instances have enriched my life. They have given me a larger vision, and clearer insight as to how God works. He knows what he is doing in every situation. We really are here to help one another because of our shared suffering and we become richer for helping. He has planned it this way, and in Love. Just recently three separate requests came our way, asking us to try to help and encourage couples who had lost a child in similar circumstances.