A Bible study class I’m in recently completed a study on 1 Peter. It was the perfect book to be reading during the aftermath of the EF4 tornado that ripped through central Arkansas, leaving behind so much heartache.
There is a continual theme in Peter’s book of standing firm in your faith even in the midst of suffering. He also reminds us of our hope, our inheritance, our future in Christ—-reasons we can endure troubles in this life.
Music was streaming on my phone the evening I was stirring gumbo, still processing the fresh news that three precious friends had gone to be with the Lord as a result of the deadly storm. Song after song played, and like the timing of my Bible study, the selection wasn’t just by chance.
My Jesus, I Love Thee
Be Thou My Vision
Ten Thousand Reasons
Come, Thou Fount
How Deep the Father’s Love
Be Unto Your Name
Speak, O Lord
Joy Follows Suffering
No, this was no coincidence. Pandora can’t take credit for what only God can do. The easy-flowing tears came rushing forth again as I was reminded of truth and God’s promises:
“We are a moment, You are forever
Lord of the Ages, God before time
We are a vapor, You are eternal
Love everlasting, reigning on high”
“Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.”
“I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.”
“How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory.”
“Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us-
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we’ll stand on Your promises,
And by faith we’ll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory.”
And then of course, it’s no coincidence that the song I “sobbed praises to God” is one that was sung at the memorial service. “Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes”!
“And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name”