It was a beautiful day for my mom’s side of the family reunion on the Snake River just outside Twin Falls, Idaho. My Grandma & late Grandpa had a lovely house right on the river. I think I was about 15 or 16 at the time when my 2 cousins and I decided to climb the 25ft natural waterfall behind her house across a small offshoot of the main river. After ascending we surveyed the amazing view. Coming down barefoot I slipped on an algae covered rock and nearly plummeted about 20ft to rocks below the falls. My 19yr old cousin Michele yelled, “Hold on”, as she came back up a few feet and pulled me back. I gashed my foot, and scared my Grandma half to death but was none for the worse.
Who knew, that 2017 would mark the end of my cousin’s life. She had her struggles in life but had recently in the last year talked about going to a Calvary Chapel in California, and turning her life over to Jesus. She had questions and we chatted quite a bit about things. When my Dad called me in July to tell me that Michele had died, I was in disbelief and immediately felt deep sadness. It was the first time in a long time that someone that close had passed away.
I was raised with hymns, my favorite hymn growing up was “The Old Rugged Cross”. I’d have to say my most poignant and my second favorite hymn is “It is well with my soul”. If you don’t know the story behind the hymn I encourage you to read about it. We read in the Bible stories of Job and hear of the great losses he experienced. Even still, we can look each day to the world around us and see tragedies. Despite the emptiness and hopelessness that this world provides, there is great hope and peace in God.
Pslam 46:1-3 “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah”
I don’t know about you, but 2017 has brought its fair share of challenges. I’m not sure where I would be without God as my refuge and strength in time of need. The whole world may seem like it’s crumbling at times but if you would just take a moment, seek God and pray. You will find that he provides peace where there’s fear and uncertainty. We’re not to be overcome by evil the Bible says in Romans 12:21 but to overcome evil with good. Despite the sadness faced considering my cousin’s passing, I was greatly encouraged based on the conversations we had in the past. I have peace from God that certainly passes my understanding and I hope that you too in your time of need will seek God for peace.
“Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul It is well, it is well with my soul”