Daily Archives: February 16, 2008

Fight the Good Fight of Faith

This morning, I have just finished reading and trying to answer around 100 e-mails over the past week concerning prayers and/or sympathy for the loss of my sister Wanda. Our loss is heavens gain.

I have never been so overwhelmed at the magnitude of visitors and flowers at a funeral service before. At the family visitation time, over 700 necks were hugged or hands shook during this time of sharing our grief with others who loved Wanda and our family. Over 125 flower baskets or sprays lined the hall, foyer, and platform of our home church, Carmel Assembly of God.

The service yesterday was awesome. The Holy Spirit fell upon the house as a blanket of warmth offering comfort and love to each grieving heart. The music was angelic as Carmel’s choir sang a medley of praise songs. A special song by a precious trio, Aaron, Clarissa and Jenna, wrapped us even tighter in His arms, as they sang, “Praise You in this Storm”, by Casting Crowns. It was fitting.

As we look back at Wanda’s sweet life, we realize and know, as we have known each day, she fought the good fight of faith…she has laid hold on her eternal life. 1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses”.

As we stood by her bed just after she left her mortal body for a glorious immortal body, we began to praise the Lord. As the song says, “though I am torn, I will praise You in the storm”. This was sung at the services yesterday, and had special meaning for those of us that were privileged to be with her as she left this earthly life for her glorious eternal life!

“Praise You In This Storm”

I was sure by now

God You would have reached down

And wiped our tears away

Stepped in and saved the day

But once again,

I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls

I barely hear Your whisper through the rain

“I’m with you”

And as Your mercy falls

I raise my hands and praise the God who gives

And takes away

And I’ll praise You in this storm

And I will lift my hands

For You are who You are

No matter where I am

And every tear I’ve cried

You hold in Your hand

You never left my side

And though my heart is torn

I will praise You in this storm

I remember when

I stumbled in the wind

You heard my cry to you

And you raised me up again

My strength is almost gone

How can I carry on

If I can’t find You

But as the thunder rolls

I barely hear You whisper through the rain

“I’m with you”

And as Your mercy falls

I raise my hands and praise the God who gives

And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills

Where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord

The Maker of Heaven and Earth….

A testimony often shared by a beloved uncle, who we believe met her at the Gate, used to say, “In order to hear Him say, “Well done thy good and faithful servant”, you will have to do well.” I want to hear Him speak those words to me. I know those were heard by Wanda. For she did well. Her purpose was fulfilled. She is whole and happy with the Father. We take great comfort in that.

Thank you for all your prayers, comments, love and concern. If you were among the 700+ that visited with us at the church, thank you for that. Your visit, hug or hand shake meant so much. Those that blessed my mother’s home with food, —-incredible. The flowers you sent were beautiful. I heard someone say yesterday that one of the flower shoppes has run out of flowers before Valentines Day to make the many orders that were coming in for Wanda…I simply said, “Well, some lady might not get her valentine flowers, but Wanda deserved them all.” She did.

I have to say one last thing regarding this. I have never seen—-either on TV or in real life….any man so dedicated and loving to his wife—his life mate. My brother-in-law was awesome. Many of the doctors and nurses commented on his tender care…never leaving her side. Thank you Mark. You will never read this, since you don’t do much net surfing…but you were the perfect husband for her. You loved her completely. God blessed our family tremendously when you were married. We all love you dearly. Always will. You will always be our brother. You belong to Aimee, my brother Jeff, and myself.

I hope that somehow, the Lord will pour thoughts back into my head….as it has been very muddled lately. Hopefully next week I will post a devotion again. I love you all.