On May 9th, Bethany Hunter Hardman was killed in a tragic car accident. She was 29, a loving wife to Randy, a great mother to Noah (3) and Lilly (6 mo), my sister and brother-in-law’s only daughter and sister to four brothers.
She loved Jesus, cared deeply for troubled women and the life of children in the womb. Our family can’t express the degree of pain we feel.
I keep focusing on two things: mystery and miracle. There is no side-stepping mystery in our faith. I can’t imagine why this happened. There is no way to make any sense of it.
I’ve been thinking about the scene in the book of Acts where Peter is miraculously released from prison. God opens doors and chains just fall off Peter. It is an amazing display of God’s power. When he arrives at the house where the believers are praying, I can’t help but think of John. What must it have felt like for John to hear about Peter’s miracle from God?
Earlier in the same chapter, James, John’s brother, has been beheaded for his faith in Christ. What a loss for John.
John must have embraced the mystery. It didn’t cause him to falter. He wasn’t emotionally paralyzed or made numb. He weathered the confusion and came through it tender for Jesus.
We can move through this mysterious loss and stay tender toward Jesus too.
I’m also focusing on miracle. The power of God is being displayed on several levels. First, Jesus is the firstborn from the dead! Just the first…there are more to follow. And Bethany will live again in a glorified, eternal body just like Jesus displayed after the resurrection.
Miracles are all around us as the Body of Christ shares the love of Jesus. We are seeing miracles of love and generosity. The presence of Jesus is tangible through the love of family and friends.
Maybe the most important miracle is the felt presence of Jesus in each of our hearts. He really is a peace that passes all understanding. He is a strong tower. He is an ever present help in our time of need. I am amazed as I watch my sister walk through this loss of her daughter. What we say we believe about Christ is proving to be true in the midst of the fire.
Jesus is real. There is both mystery and miracle in following Him.
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