Yesterday was an amazing day for so many different reasons. We had the joy of spending the afternoon with so many amazing people celebrating our little Hayes' life. The outpouring of support that we have received from so many different avenues has been nothing short of amazing! It is another reminder of the fact of how God can take something as horrific as losing a child a second time and turn it into an amazing and joyful celebration!
For those of you who were not able to attend or watch it online yesterday it is going to be on our church website under the series archives in about two weeks. If you go to www.coolchurch.com and look under the media tab you will find the series archives. It will probably be labeled as the "memorial service for Hayes Jackson Kelly". I will post something when it is actually available.
It has been a little bit since my last post and I have been sitting back looking over the events of the last month in the last couple of days. This road that we are now is one that I would have never chosen to be on, but as we are continuing down it I am struck by what God is doing as a result. There are so many things that I could share where I can say I see the hand of God working through Jack and Hayes' lives, and I will as time continues to go on, but I want to focus on a couple of aspects with this post.
As I spoke yesterday at Hayes' service I kept coming back to hope and the anchor of my soul. Without the deep rooted and real hope that my wife and I have, we would not be able to function much less praise God in the midst of this storm. There have been many that have said how they are in awe of how we are handling these losses, but I constantly say back that there is nothing special in us whatsoever! The thing that is getting us through and giving us the strength is nothing other than the grace and power of Jesus Christ.
It may seem like I continue to go back to talking about Jesus and essentially preaching through these post, and that is a pretty fair assessment of my blog. :) It is all about Jesus! I am making the point to point out to any person that ever reads this blog that the anchor and hope that so many seem to be looking for in this life is found only through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. This is not just a religion to me or a crutch that I am falling back on to get me through this time in our life. It is an anchor that is rooted so deep in my soul that I do not have any other choice but to share it.
I made the point to mention yesterday that the theme that had arisen over the last few weeks since Hayes' passing was the idea of hope. The fact that there is a hope for anyone who needs it if they will only turn to the one who offers that hope. This was brought home and into focus through a sermon from Louie Giglio that was recommended we watch. I would highly recommend to all of you to watch this message. It can be found on Youtube by looking up Louie Giglio and the title is called Hope. It is broke up into 10 small videos and it is a phenomenal message! It really takes what Jess and I have been feeling and expresses exactly where we are right now.
I want to give you the big idea of what that is, and wanted to make sure I gave proper credit for some of what I have to say. The big idea is that no matter who you are, or where you find yourself in life, you are going to have trouble at some point. I am not talking about little trouble like you lose your keys, get a speeding ticket, or you just have a bad day. I am talking about big all caps TROUBLE! I am talking about the kind of trouble that completely turns your life upside down, such as losing a child. It could be losing a loved one, being told you have cancer, your spouse is leaving you, losing your job with nothing on the horizon to replace it, or anything that comes and is so seemingly insurmountable that you do not know what to do or where to turn. It is in those moments of life the question arises asking what do I do?
There is only one way to get through those moments of life. It is at that moment you find out if the foundation you have built your life on is on the rock, or if the foundation of your life is built on the sand and is washing away from underneath you. I can feel God speaking to me that some of you reading this find yourself in the position where everything you have built your life on is literally seeming to wash away from below you. I am here to tell you that there is only one foundation that your life can be built on that will not wash away when trouble comes. That is as it is described in Psalms 118 the chief cornerstone, which is Jesus Christ. These kinds of trouble are going to come at you and the question is how are you going to handle them. There are so many in this world that are searching for that answer and I am here to say I have found it beyond a shadow of a doubt!
The one thing I want to say is just because a person turns to Jesus doesn't mean all trouble is going to go away, because as my family is a testament to it does not. Trouble is going to come regardless of you being a Christian or not, but how you get through it is going to hinge on Christ. There are those that will read this and probably say I have made it through the troubles in my life okay without Jesus and I don't think I need Him. I am here to tell you, yes, that may be the case now but I can guarantee there will more than likely be an event that will challenge that assumption at some point in your life. I pray that when those times do come you will be able to stop, look back, and remember that there is a HOPE in Christ, and that you will turn to Him.
I would ask at this point that you do not wait until those big trials and tribulations come to turn to Christ, but I would ask that you turn to Him now. God has been so good to my family even in the midst of losing two of our boys. I know I am going to see my boys again!! I can see how God is taking what was totally meant for evil in the loss of our boys and turning it into something beautiful! The same hope and anchor that my wife and I have holding us steady is available to you. It is a free gift that is there for you if only you will receive it. I pray that you will do that today! I will close with the words of Jesus from Matthew 7.
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and
the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on
that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”