|Hope in the Worst Conditions|
|Hope Stories - Stories|
Trusting the Lord
January 16, 2007, will be forever imprinted in the minds of my family as the day that shook our foundation. I praise the Lord that our foundation was built on the Rock and although the rains came and the winds beat upon the house, we stood firmly planted on the principles of God's Word. On January 15th, my son and son-in-law had departed for South Alabama for our Annual Father-Son Deer Hunting Trip. It had long been my desire to have this hunting experience with my sons. My dad was not a hunter so I never had that experience as a boy. So, it was an arrangement made in heaven where father and sons could experience the ultimate hunting trip. It was our fourth such experience. We were excited. My oldest daughter and son-in-law traveled from their home in Charlottesville, Virginia with our 19-month-old grandson. My daughter and grandson were to spend the week with grandma in Tennessee while the boys went hunting.
Tuesday night, January 16th, the boys and I came to our cabin after a day in the woods. We were met there by the owners of the cabin. They came to me and told me my wife needed me to call home as soon as possible. I immediately thought that she was calling to tell me that my dear aunt had finally succumbed to death after a lengthy illness. I had several things to unload from the truck so I really didn't get in a hurry to call home. After all, I already knew what she was calling about.
Finally, one of the owners of the cabin came to me with urgency in her voice and told me that I really needed to call my wife. I went outside and dialed home on my cell phone. The words I heard from my wife drove me instantly to my knees. Our dear grandson had fallen into our pond and had drowned. Doctors had spent several hours attempting to resuscitate him but to no avail. I was crushed but I was the father, I had to be strong. I had to go tell my son-in-law that his son was dead.
I do not consider myself a dynamic communicator and even though I have great thoughts, I often have difficulty getting them out. My first cry to God was, "I will not allow Satan to have victory in this situation." Somehow, unknown to me, God and God alone would receive glory! My son-in-law's reaction was what one could expect. He was crushed, confused, and in shock. I believe God allows shock to set in to make it possible to survive situations such as this. My son, son-in-law, and friends cried together and prepared for a six hour drive home. The trip home, the only advice I could give my son-in-law was, "Bob, you just have to trust the Lord."
During this time, my family at home had experienced the worst of the tragedy. My oldest son, who had recently returned from Iraq, and had experienced unbelievable horror and the death of comrades, had his little nephew die in his arms. He tried so valiantly to revive him using all the skills he had. He, along with his dear wife, drove their nephew to the emergency room. We live in a very rural setting and they knew it would take a long time for an ambulance to arrive. My wife and my daughter, the young mother, followed. The doctors and emergency personnel worked feverishly on him but he was pronounced dead after about an hour. That is when we got the call.
An Amazing God
I wish I could put in writing how faithful God is! He took this terrible tragedy and the accompanying sorrow and made something so sweet and beautiful. Our lives will never be the same. Our homesickness for heaven has been magnified. Our love for the soothing Scriptures has been amplified. We serve an amazing God who offers hope in the worst conditions. Understanding that we will one day see my grandson again and that my daughter can embrace her son again offers hope. This has been very therapeutic for me to put some of what we experienced in words. There is so much more to share and so much Scripture that has come alive in our experience.
Bob M., TN