Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Anniversary (04/11/05)
- TITLE: The Hope That Lies Within You...
By Suzanne Shepard
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As a young girl, I was taught to know God, my Creator. The Catechism classes that I attended helped me to know that He was a Holy God and that He cared about how I lived. I grew up knowing and understanding that Heaven and Hell were equally real places and I would some day spend an eternity in one or the other, according to the choices I would make here on earth. I really wanted to go to Heaven when I died, so the hope of that end began to grow within me. My heart began to desire to know God more.
At age twenty-five, I was married, had three children and was living a life that was not measuring up to what I knew was right before God. One day, as His Holy Spirit convicted my heart of sin, I broke down and asked Jesus to forgive me and come into my
heart and give me a new life... a life that would bring Him honor and glory.
The entrance of the Holy Spirit in my life was real and life-changing. He gave me a new attitude and a deeper desire to live to please Him instead of myself. He began changing me from the inside out.
Challenges and hardships fashioned in Hell were brought before me and with each one; God showed me that with Him by my side and His Holy Spirit within me, guiding me and strengthening me, there was nothing that we couldn’t overcome together.
When our son, Benjamin was given to us, he was the apple of our eye…a cherished treasure…our first-born son. Little did we know his life was going to be so short, so painful and so much an instrument of change in us. To us, his life was full of cruel, relentless hardship and pain. To him, his body became a prison that he could not escape. The thing that made him so precious to us was the unquenchable spirit of joy in his heart and the undaunted love for Jesus in his life. His physical body was continually showing signs of breaking down, but his laughter continued on.
When he was no longer able to express his joy or happiness, he began to communicate his love in the sparkle of his eyes. The love of God, his Hope and Savior, never left him alone in his pain. God’s Word says that He comforts us in our trials, so that we can comfort those around us and Benjamin did that for us in a greater way than we were able to do it for him. He communicated his love to us without being able to speak a single word… he communicated with his heart… then one day Jesus sent His angels to carry him home.
The loss of Benjamin’s earthly life has brought our hearts so much pain, but the God who loves us, is walking beside us, comforting us as we go. We know that He is acquainted with our grief, having had to watch His own Son be viciously beaten and hung on a cross to die for us, He knows how we are feeling and we take comfort in that understanding.
Just as Resurrection Day came in Jesus’ life, so resurrection day will come in ours as well. Today, the scriptures in the Book of Isaiah 6 gives to us a glimpse of the awesome Glory of God that awaits us… something that our Benjamin is already experiencing every day. For him, life continues on, only now, it’s full of joy, peace and happiness that he can freely express with his whole heart, soul and body. He is most blessed of all.
The thought of seeing him again, spurs us on to live a life of holiness, dedicated to the service of the Creator and to Jesus who died for us and the Holy Spirit who comforts us… until our purpose here on earth is accomplished.
Soon, on May 17th, we will live through the anniversary day of our son’s passing into glory. He would’ve been 18 years old. God has been faithful to comfort us this past year, but the empty space in our hearts and home still cries out to see and hold Benjamin in our arms once again. Because of the hope that lies within us, in Christ Jesus, we know we will… it’s just a matter of time.
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