As I think about a fellow Pastor’s Wife, Leigh Anne Salter, who recently lost to God’s loving embrace her dear husband and family shepherd who preached this sermon three days before his accident… and as I think about their young children that will grow up without their daddy, my heart aches. I only met Dustin once but my heart doesn’t ache because of the brief real life connection with he and his wife — indeed it was so distant and brief that my husband had to remind me that we had actually met them — but because I can’t imagine being without my husband, best friend, lover, father of my children, my under-shepherd.

I’d like to think that in such a circumstance my faith would be stayed on my God who sustains us, who will never leave us, who sets for us a table — a feast — in the presence of our enemies… but though I know these truths now I still cannot comprehend really and truly having to lean on them as if they are the blood that flows through my veins and the breath that fills my lungs. Why do I not feel that way even now though because that is indeed what they are. Words. of. Life.

For His words are life to me now as much as they would be in the valley of the shadow of death. May they be such to you or anyone who suffers and doubts and weeps tonight.

I was reminded of my hymn for the day, I Know Whom I have Believed by Words: bio(“Dan­i­el W. Whit­tle”,”w/h/i/whittle_dw”)Dan­i­el W. Whit­tle, in Gos­pel Hymns No. 4, 1883. Music: bio(“James Mc­Gran­a­han”,”m/c/g/mcgranahan_j”)James Mc­Gran­a­hanlmn(“i/k/I%20Know%20Whom%20I%20Have%20Believed”)

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.

Refrain:

But I know Whom I have believèd,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.

I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.

Refrain

I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing us of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.

Refrain

I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.

Refrain

I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.

Refrain

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