Broken Yet Blessed

Broken Yet Blessed
C.Hayden 2-15-21

At the risk of being inappropriate, I must share this with you this week. It has been a very hard couple of weeks for me. At the end of January we said goodbye to a wonderful member of our congregation, Judy Frederick. Judy was traveling on one of many county roadways around Huntington when she was struck by another vehicle whose driver had run a stop sign, and she was killed. When I had received word confirming the incident, I was immediately heart-broken. It was not much more than a few months past that Judy had seen our church online and came to visit. She immediately fell in love with our congregation, enjoyed our serves, made new friends, and was overwhelmed with the opportunities that lay before her as a new believer with a renewed spiritual focus. She had discovered her new church home and was so excited about getting involved in so many ministry opportunities. She was newly water baptized with a zeal for God that is all too uncommon. She is, and will be, so missed.
I’m not totally sure why I share this with you on this forum. Maybe I tell you in order to inform you of the need to keep Judy’s family in prayer. I know they are hurting at this very moment. Maybe I just want you to know to keep me in prayer (It is a painful thing for a Pastor to let go of a member of the church family). Or, maybe I am looking for some type of catharsis at a time when answers are not always clear. Maybe the offering of this Pastor’s Blog includes all these things and more. What certainly is true is that I am just as susceptible to asking “Why?” as anybody. I know many are mourning her loss, me included, but I have hope. 
These things I know, that:
1) We live in a world full of sin and tragedy (Romans 5:12)
2) We have an enemy who hates us and seeks to destroy us (John 10:10)
3) We often see bad things happen to good people (Matthew 5:45)
4) We cannot always avoid pain (John 16:33)
Let me tell you why I have hope and what else I know, that:
5) Jesus loves us (and Judy), and never will leave us (Hebrews 13:5)
6) Jesus gives hope when when understanding escapes us (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
7) Jesus provides escape routes so we can bear temptation, even in despair (1 Corinthians 10:13)
8) Jesus will heal our broken hearts and carry our burdened souls (Matthew 11:28-29)
And finally by faith in the Word and the Power of the Holy Spirit I know that:
9) I will trust in my God even when my heart is grieving  (Job 13:15)
10) I continue to pick up my cross and follow Christ even when inconvenient (Luke 9:23)
11) I am more than a conqueror in Christ, it is who I am (Romans 8:36-37)
12) I will not fear for Jesus is with me and He is my God (Isaiah 41:10)
13) I have victory over the crushed and defeated devil, he is a loser (Romans 16:20)
14) I will see Judy again and all who love Jesus in the Kingdom of my God (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Oh boy, what stories we will have to share on that day!
Be blessed even more!
Pastor Chris

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