I had been Roscoe Creel's and Raybon Mack's pastor for seven years and then all of a sudden this past Sunday neither of them were with us in church. They were in heaven and we all missed them.
Funerals are never easy to preach. They pull at your soul as you comfort hurting loved ones and seek God for direction as to the proper words to share for their memorial service. It is amazing how God directs me to the Scriptures and word to minister, but preaching them still has a tough impact at my heart.
Last week I was up in the night with one of those dear church members. He passed into the heavenly world late into the night. My heart ached for the precious loved ones left behind. I know how they feel.
Then, Rebecca, Kristy's sister, called Thursday right in the middle of ministering in two funerals last week and shared very sad news that her Cousin Tim's wife, Janice, had been killed in a car wreck that afternoon. My head pushed backward in disbelief at this sad news. How could this be?
I called Tim in North Carolina and offered prayer and my condolences. I knew how he felt, except that Janice left so suddenly and unexpectedly and Tim didn't have the opportunity to say goodbye to Janice. I wept on the phone with him and told him that God would help him and somehow he would make it.
Then Sunday came with teaching, preaching, and caring for a wonderful congregation. It was a good Sunday with an unusual sense of God's love and grace reaching out to people. I saw people worshipping God in spite of all manner of trial and hurt.
I don't think I will soon forget last week. It was a heart rending week.