October 17, 2006
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. Philemon 1:4-7
The biggest question on my heart these last two weeks is "Lord, Now what do you want me to do?" I felt such a strong calling to pray for Jeff and for his healing, and God led me to various scriptures to post to show God working. Jeff touched the hearts and lives of countless people while he was here. I am continuing to receive emails from people that he grew up with, or worked with, or students he taught, or family members of students he taught. They all have the same common thread... Jeff had a heart for Christ, and it has indefinitely impacted others hearts. It would be very easy to question the purpose of taking such a man of Christ out of a world that needs to hear about Jesus so badly. My brother Brian has told me that he believes Jeff may have had a greater impact on people through his sufferings than he did during the previous 33 years of his life. If you stop to think about that, it is really amazing. God knows what He is doing, even when we don't fully understand it. He has to have an amazing plan in place to take such a great man from us. I think back to Jeff's funeral; there were easily close to 400-500 people there. I know that the testimonies shared about Jeff's life impacted many that we there. There are thousands of people that keep up with this website. That thought gives me comfort, knowing that the work God started in Jeff is still circulating this earth. I know what this whole situation has done for my own faith. It has taught me to lean fully on Christ, and realize that He will never leave me. I did exactly what God called me to do when it came to praying for Jeff. I never gave up, and I know that Jeff did not either. In one of Jeff's entries, he wrote that if God did not chose to heal him, then He would sustain him until he was finished using him on earth. And God was faithful. I know Jeff would say that God's strength was made perfect in his weakness. As I said, my prayer now is what's next? I believe that we have to be ready at any time to be called home. Even if we think we are healthy and young, he could still part the clouds and return to us when we least expect it. When Jeff was at hospice, he would spend most of his days listening to the Bible on cd or to the Left Behind series on cd. For those of you not familiar with the Left Behind series, it deals with the second coming of Christ and a group of people that were not ready and were left behind. If you have never read those books, I would encourage you to. If you don't have that much time to dedicate to reading, the cds are great too. Even though I am ready whenever Christ calls me home, I feel that there is now an urgency to pray for those who aren't. So that is what I feel like I am being called to. I prayed everyday for Jeff to be healed, and I believe that God did heal him just long enough to keep him on this earth to bring a light into otherwise dark situations. Now, I will pray for a healing of our land; that people's hearts would be softened and that they will see how much God loves them and has an interest in their life. That is what I would encourage you all to pray with me. That we will be active in sharing our faith so that we will have a full understanding of everything good we have in Christ.
On a side note, I had another Olivia story to share. My mom and I took Olivia to see Kaylee's class in chapel at school the other day. Just as we were pulling into the parking lot to the school, Olivia said "I had a dream in my bed last night! Jeff and Kaylee were holding onto each other! He was standing and he was walking!" I am so thankful that Olivia is the little girl that she is. Sometimes she helps me more than she'll ever understand.
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