Tuesday, October 16, 2007

God Tests Us

As I wrote in my last post, Mark’s son C. preached at church this past Sunday evening. He did an awesome job! The subject of his message was about how God allows trials into our lives for various reasons. He presented text from Job 1:6-2:10, 42:1-6, 10-17. The entire time he was preaching I just kept thinking about what a strong young man C. is, his entire family is really, that he could apply the truths of God’s Word to the passing of Mark.

God really blessed me through C.’s message. First, I was caught up in the nursery getting Ta and T.G. settled. I entered the sanctuary just as the service was beginning. TJ and Th were already seated, so I found them and slid into the chair next to an older gentleman. I didn’t know who the gentleman was, but he shared his hymnal with me since the congregation was already singing the opening hymn. The service began with C. preaching, followed by 2 other teenage boys preaching. I already stated what C.’s topic was, and as I listened to him, I realized that if he could see the Lord’s hand at work in his life and understand the purpose of trials, I knew that I could do the same. I have not suffered loss like C. and his family and that was a very humbling moment for me. At the conclusion of the service, the gentleman I was sitting next to introduced himself and said he was the proud grandfather of C. I asked if he was Val’s father, and he said no. I immediately saw his face soften as he said he was Mark’s dad. I teared up and said I was sorry for his loss. He hugged me and said he would tell Val he met me. The blessing in meeting him is that it was sort of like seeing Mark again. Mark favors his father, and I was so grateful to be reminded of him. Val stopped me and we hugged, and of course I cried, as we talked about how proud Mark would have been of C. Words cannot describe the strength she has, the entire family has, and I am convicted each time I talk with her. God is SOOO GOOD, and it’s true His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9); the Stiling’s are living proof! I was very teary-eyed when I spoke to C. so I merely shook his hand and told him he did a good job. I really wanted to hug him and tell him how proud I was of him, so maybe I’ll have the chance soon. I am so amazed by this family, and am so blessed to know them.