Like many American families, my family gets excited about summer. My wife, Stacey, loves the long, hot days so much that she claims to be solar powered! Our family always enjoys being together near the water; either at the lake or at the beach. Even though we’ve done both of those things in recent months, it hasn’t been the summer we anticipated. It’s been a different kind of summer than any we’ve ever experienced.
June started with an incredible loss. My youngest sister’s son, Kyle, died from a drug overdose. He was only 29 but had battled with addiction for several years. Watching my sister pray for her son while he was on life support was extremely difficult. Then on June 3rd my nephew passed away. I preached his funeral and shared the Gospel. God turned tragedy into triumph as 12 people surrendered their lives to Christ.
About this time, we noticed my Dad’s health rapidly decline to the point that he could no longer care for himself. Dementia is a brutal disease, and it’s doubly difficult with poor mobility. Dad is one of the strongest men I’ve ever known. He’s always been full of life and laughter. So, as my family came to the inevitable decision of placing him in a long-term care facility, it was one of the most difficult days of my life. Of course, we can’t visit him because of COVID-19. Although I understand why, and agree, it doesn’t make it easier; as many of you know first-hand.
So, this summer has been anything but normal. I wish I could tell you that I never questioned God in all of this, but that would be a lie. I’ve cried out to Him in anguish and in anger. And at times, I’ve been made very aware of my own inadequacies. On the other hand, I’ve also experienced God’s provision, protection, and peace. When the winds of grief and pain blew with hurricane force, I felt God’s loving care through the generosity and kindness of both friends and family.
I was reminded this summer of all it means to call on God as my heavenly Father. He is incredibly mindful of each one of us, even in the midst of chaos. I’m more thankful than ever to be loved and shielded by an unchanging God. Maybe that’s because it was a different kind of summer.