Saturday, August 29, 2009

Death & Grace Church



I was reminded again this week how much I hate death. Really hate it. Sometimes I walk around in denial that I and everyone I love will one day die and other days, like this week I'm faced with that reality all over again. Death goes against our very created nature. We were made to live & enjoy God forever and for a short time that's how we lived. There was no such thing as death, grief, mourning, tears, until the dreaded day in the garden where together Adam & Eve disobeyed God. They did the one thing they were asked not to do. At this point I can be tempted to hate Adam & Eve until I take a good look at my own life and admit that I'm no different. I probably would've ate the apple a lot quicker then they did. From their disobedience sin & death entered the world and we see the results all around us. I'm thankful that the Lord did not let the story of humanity end there. No Christ came, took on my sin and the sin of his children, died and three days later rose from the grave. He conquered death. Yes there is still death in the world but it is just a shadow. We no longer have to fear being eternally separated from God. He has made a way!

This week our dear friends found out that their baby of 37 weeks had passed. They asked me to come when she was born and take pictures so that they could remember over the years that way that the Lord had fearfully & wonderfully made her in her mother's womb. From behind the lens I wept, prayed & took pictures of little hands & feet. I also witnessed the most remarkable faith. "God is still good" my friend cried. "God we don't know why, but we trust you." They prayed through tears. Who says these things?! One who believes with all of their being that God is real & that Christ has conquered the grave. They say "God is still good," because they know that nothing can separate them from the Love of God that they have in Christ. (Rom 8) They can say, "I trust you" because the gospel, forgives them of their sin & promises them eternal life with Christ. They have the hope that one day they will be united with Adalia in heaven.

They had chosen the name Adalia for their baby girl prior to knowing that the Lord would take her. Adalia means "God is our Refuge". My friends are walking through this trial living like "God IS their refuge".

In the Lord's providence this tragedy happened the week leading up to our church plant kick off. Tomorrow we begin. God has used Adalia's short life to remind us of why we are planting Grace Church. There are hurting people that will come into our building who are grieving but not like ones who have hope. They don't know how or where to find hope in the midst of pain & suffering. People who are physically alive but spiritually dead will come to our church and we can point them to a God who forgives sin and makes men alive again! This is our prayer and we in faith, believing God wants to do these very things, will open the doors tomorrow at 4pm.

Pray for our friends and pray that Grace Church will be know as a place where the dead are made alive.

5 comments:

Filleman Family said...

We can't wait to visit Grace church Peoria some day soon! We will be praying for you tomorrow and praising God for the things He will do in and through this new place.

Tara said...

Thanks Michelle! We'd love to see you sometime!

Doug said...

Your strength amazes me. I am lifted up by God’s grace to us and so darn proud of Chris and You

Rebekah said...

God bless you Tara, for loving your friends so well. Those little feet are so beautiful, and it breaks my heart to think of their loss. I wish I could say I know my faith would be that strong. We continue to lift them, and all of you, up in our prayers.

Also, praying for today's service!

Brandy said...

How beautifully put Tara. We sang the song "I'll Stand" this morning during worship and the last line says it all for me...
"So I’ll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours"
Praying for Grace Church and all those who are hurting...