Praise Him! First, and most importantly, I will praise Jesus for dying for me, giving life, and taking the punishment I deserved so that eternal life is secured! There will be a wonderful reunion, one day, and that is because of Jesus!
Praise Him for the years I had with Jana. Every night I thank God for the time I had with her. I used to say, “Goodnight, I love you,” each night, but that has changed. Yes, I still have a love for Jana, but now I thank God for my memory of her. She changed my life for the better. I miss her, and think of her every day. Reminders of our life are everywhere. Today, I look upon those reminders with more a warm smile than bitter tears…
Praise Him for preparing us. We, of course, had no idea what was coming one year ago. God, in His wisdom, prepared parts of our lives, financially, emotionally, physically, for what was to come. Jana would have been pleased to know how well the kids and I were taken care of after she was gone.
Praise Him for sending people. We have been so blessed by God’s people…our friends, family, and the Church. I saw the people of God rise up and minister like I have never experienced before. What a humbling thing to be cared for so well by so many. I could never adequately thank each person for the love they have demonstrated towards my family.
Praise Him for walking with me. One year ago I was in the passenger seat of my truck, being driven to a friend’s home for the night. I sat looking out my window, into the night, after spending a long day at the hospital. I simply had no idea what to do next. I felt alone, numb, lost…like I was in some kind of cocoon, separated from the world around me. My thoughts were garbled and profound sorrow was the only emotion I could identify. God was with me. The Lord walked with me! I had to feel the pain, work in this grief, and learn to trust Him again…
Praise Him for life. Slowly life “things” happened. Normalcy creeped in on me. School activities, holidays, and friendships all sort of evolved in life, just like they always do. Eventually, my interest in life returned. I was living again. He provided strength to live and that gave me the opportunity to point to His goodness, even in grief. I am living life, one year later, and praising Him for giving me this life.
I praise Him for the future. I’m not sure how much longer I may have in this life. It doesn’t really matter. My intent is to embrace my life, my relationships, and live for Him. I am here for His good pleasure. He is the creator and author of my days. May my existence be a joy to Him! May I be found following Jesus and enjoying the blessings of this life, provided by God, as He chooses to give.
Even if He decides to change things drastically in my life, I will praise Him. I struggle and wrestle with His ways, but I do trust that they are higher than my own. He knew what would happen, one year ago. He knew the pain I would endure… He also knew how to comfort and care for me in my sorrow.
God chooses to continue to bless me, and I am humbled that He would love me so unconditionally. I see Him in new ways. He has revealed His character to me in ways I had never experienced. Our God is great! His is my protector and defender! I stand here, today, a stronger man because of His great love.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though the flocks disappear from the pen and there are no herds in the stalls, yet I will celebrate in the LORD; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation! The LORD my Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like those of a deer and enables me to walk on mountain heights!