Wednesday, June 26, 2013

To die is gain...

As I enter a note about the phone call I'd just had with the payroll company, I check the date.... 6/26 ...

"Already?" I wonder inside as my voice continues to carry on a happy telephone conversation about our family dachshund.

"I almost missed it... That would have been a first," I think as I save the note and then refocus on the conversation about dog shampoo and itchy skin.

A couple hours later I look at the spreadsheet I'm working on and my eye skims past the calendar. There it is again ... 6/26.

I go into the bedroom and open my sock drawer. I dig under the assortment of hosiery and pull out the black and white striped journal. Walking back into the office, I sit and open the off-white pages and flip to the middle of the book. I don't let my eyes focus enough to read all of the words (I'm not willing to go back there today). So, I flip to see how many pages there were... Four. At the end of the 4th page, I let my eyes focus and look to see what I wrote...

"I pray that through this traumatic experience, people are able to see how great you are."

I catch my breath as I finish reading the sentence. "Did I really pray that then? ... I must have, because I wrote it..." And there I reread a prayer that so simply reflects what happened that day....

The five of us kids, as we rode in that white van the day before, talked about Philippians 1:21.

"To live is Christ, to die is gain."

After some discussion, we agreed that we believed the verse. That dying for Christ was more than worth it if it meant the proclamation of His Name.

The next day we looked down the barrel of a black gun that tested if we really believed dying in the name of Christ was worth it.

I sit here eight years later and simultaneously praise the Lord for sparing our lives while recognizing that a part of us did die that day ... we died to ourselves.

As we've continued to serve our Maker and make His name known in spite of what happened, He has shown people how great He is.

"I pray that through this traumatic experience, people are able to see how great you are."

We asked that the Holiest of Holies would use violent sin to bring glory to His name.

We agreed to die to ourselves if God would make it worth it.

And I rejoice in sharing with you that He came through. He didn't just rescue us that day. He didn't just spare our lives so we could spend a little more time here on Earth and make it home to hug our families. He went further and answered a simple request from the heart of a small servant. Through the pain, the fear, the PTSD, the agony of watching my family endure the trial with me, through it all, His name has been proclaimed and people have seen how great He is.

"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." (Revelation 4:8)

That was my declaration in the van, and it's my declaration today. The Lord God Almighty is Holy, was holy, and will be holy forever and ever. And as He will be Holy, He will also be faithful. (Psalm 119:90) Praise The Lord.. Praise The Lord!!