Out of the Crucible Comes the Most Beautiful

25 01 2008


The Lord is good; He is a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him—Nahum 1:7.

If you are reading this, I feel like you are helping me write it.

My effort is an attempt to give expression to the voice of the untold hundreds of us who are grieving with Anthony, his precious children, and with Amber’s immediate and extended family.

The Lord knows the depth of each one’s grief. He knows also that we want to be helpful. To say something helpful. To do something helpful. Most often though, we feel at a loss for where to be, or what to say, or what to do. Because I’ve talked with dozens of you, and have received emails and messages from dozens more, my burden is to try to express our heart. What follows is my feeble attempt to express the flavor of things I’ve heard as we are hoping together in Christ.

. . . . .

Without a doubt, the army of praying saints now circling Anthony, Laura, Mitch, April, Nathan, and others is great in number. Individually, but collectively as one, we are grieving, kneeling, weeping, and believing together. In Christ our Lord, we are also rejoicing together. As the sheep of His pasture, we are…together.

Our heavenly Father must be pleased when His church universal operates like one family. Across the world saints are meeting together in His spacious throne-room on behalf of those now hurting. And we are meeting there also on behalf of unconverted souls yet to join us in His care. May God glorify the beautiful work of His Son by saving souls through this crucible.

In the truest sense, the army of hurting believers scattered around the world are a family. In times like this we are given the opportunity to display it. We have been uniquely poised by God to demonstrate to a watching world what it means for the Lord’s people to grieve differently than those who have no hope. Our hope is sure, and He is strong!

In our heavy-hearted collective company stands One Who is enough. He is the Great Shepherd of the sheep. He is near to the broken-hearted. He gives grace. He loves to do so. He is Christ the Lord. He is our Christ. He is our Elder Brother! He is not incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses. Rather, He encamps around us in the storm. May we run to Him! Latch onto Him. Cling to Him. Though from His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace, He is not in the least depleted! Take shelter beneath the shadow of His wings and drink your fill from the abundance of His household! Oh, how we are praying nothing less over Anthony, our brother!

The pressing impulse we share to want to do something helpful is felt by all. For most of us, we have been expressing our desire to help every way we know how, but still feel that our expression is incomplete. In due time we are realizing how to help, and how to do so in a helpful way. Nathan has already mentioned the opportunity to give. As the multitude of other needs surface, we are all certain they will be met too. That is the way the Lord’s family must operate.

The ever-present need—both now and in the days to come—is for fervent prayer and glad-hearted praise. Interceding along with Jesus and the Holy Spirit is our privilege. Praising God for the life of our dear sister, Amber, is also our privilege. Our confident march to the throne of grace calls forth our praise, and elicits from us large petitions! So linger there…with Jesus. Praise Him. And pray. Then praise and pray some more. Far be it from us to do anything less.

Amber is with Jesus. She is with Him. What is the outcome of her faith? Obtaining of the salvation of her soul! What is our task in the wake of her final heavenward-step? Though distressed by this great trial, we too shall come to Christ—Who alone can grant soul-rest to the burdened and the weary.

Anthony, my dear brotherour Elder Brother has taken the hand of your dear wife, and she is well. She is well. I am one among hundreds, yes thousands, of those who remain with you who now gladly to take your hand. Please pardon our unintentional insensitivity, and our admitted ignorance, as we sit near your feet and catch the crumbs as you feast your soul at our Master’s table! As you are given the ability to digest, we are continuing to pray.

May Christ be yours in fullest measure.

Ever yours, jt




7 responses

26 01 2008


26 01 2008

What a beautiful and touching post.

26 01 2008

As many of us have been at a loss for words, this truly is our earnest prayer. We praise you Lord God for who You are.

29 01 2008
Caroline Johnson

This is so beautiful.

31 01 2008
Marsha Bullock

When I learned of Amber’s passing from my daughter, I felt the sense of thouands of people rushing to uphold Anthony with their prayers, and once again marvel at how God ministers to and through His people. This post touched me too. Glory be to our great God.

1 02 2008

praying for you all~

In His love,

14 08 2008

Amazing stuff!


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