Yesterday, I had a phone conversation that will haunt me for the rest of my life. Some of our dearest friends on this planet, Bruce and Ruby Pritchard, lost their treasured 18 year old daughter Kaci in a tragic car accident. Dear God, I can barely type it. This family took us under their wings in our first pastorate in North Carolina and ministered to us much more than we ever did them. Most of you have a Kaci in your life - a vivacious young woman who loves family and Jesus and for whom the world is full of promise and opportunity. We love this child so much and to think she is gone is more than I can put my mind around. This is my favorite picture of her and the boys taken a few years back. There was never a darlin' girl who enjoyed my kids so much. The affection was completely mutual.
My favorite devotional is called Daily Light for the Daily Path. It is simply a stringing together of like verses and my ritual is to pray through each of the scriptures each morning and then journal what resonates with me. Reading yesterday's entry, He proved once again that His Word never falls upon us accidentally:
"God raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Eph 2:6) Do not be afraid;...I am He who lives, and was dead. (Rev. 1:17-18) Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory. (John 17:24) For we are members of His body. (Eph. 5:30) He is the head of the body, the church , who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead. You are complete in Him, who is head of all principality and power. (Colossians 2:10) As the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release from those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14-15) This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this moral must put on immortality. Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written; 'Death is swallowed up in victory.' Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Cor. 15:53-54, 58)
These words are balm and I would ask that you would pray them into the gaping wounds of this family and those who love them.
Also beyond coincidence, just two weeks ago I discovered Natalie Grant's song, Held, on an old WOW cd I found in the car. Can you believe I'd never heard it? I've cried every single time it has played. Now, it not only speaks to my heart but from it.
Bruce and Ruby, Stephanie, Bryce, and Ryan, family and friends: We love you so much and grieve deeply with you. May the God of the Universe gently, tenderly hold you in the palm of His sovereign hand.