This morning, I held my wives hand in prayer and wept. Many of you know the tragic story of Davey and Amanda Blackburn which has been in the Indianapolis, IN news this week. Amanda was shot and killed earlier this week in her home. Davey, a local pastor, came home to find her and their young son who was unharmed. Amanda was also pregnant with their second child.
This morning, I read a statement from Pastor Davey which is linked here. His words, “I have not only lost my ministry partner and support but also my very best friend” resonate in my heart. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to lose one’s wife. Then to lift up God’s truth, “I rest in the truth of Romans 8:28 that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose.” Simply unimaginable!
As tragic as this story is, this wasn’t the point of the prayer I wept. Where I lost it in my prayer was praying for another couple going through a separation in their marriage. Like Pastor Davey, this man is a warrior and a true servant of God; yet, Satan has gotten a foothold in the heart of his spouse. She is running away from God falling prey to the great deceiver. This man’s heart is also broken beyond imagination.
My heart broke as I acknowledge the destruction Satan has caused in the lives of both of these couples. Then to be reminded of Job who also endured great suffering. Suffering in which God really never told him “why”. Suffering that isn’t meaningless, it simple has more meaning than what we’ll ever be able to comprehend in this life. Suffering that makes my small little problems seem so, so insignificant.
As I write this post, I sit looking out my window overlooking a lake which is very turbulent today due to record level high winds. This turbulence reminds me of the turbulence of suffering in today’s stories. Then, at a distance, I overlook one of the nations busiest interstates, I-65. In particular, the interstate traffic has been something God has been pressing in upon me ever since moving here and even more so in the last week.
Daily, I see and hear thousand and thousands of cars and trucks hurriedly passing by. There isn’t one time of day or one time of week that this ever completely stops. I’ve found myself wondering about the stories of those represented in these vehicle. In particular, I’ve found myself reflecting on what hurried lives these people likely are leading. Lives that I too used to lead traveling over a thousand miles a week. Lives that may in fact be trapped in the world’s deception of what “success” truly looks like always striving for more.
Specific to marriage, how many of your marriages are suffering due to your hurried lives? Do you understand that your walking daily in a battlefield needing to fight for your marriage? While sometimes it may seem it, the battlefield I’m referring isn’t one of flesh and blood. It’s one of a spiritual realm where the king of deception would like nothing less than to drive a wedge into your relationship.
You see, the reason I wept this morning while praying is that I recognized as horrific as Amanda’s death is, she is with Jesus now. Yet, in the case of my friend’s wife, if she were killed today, I couldn’t confidently say the same. I wept thinking about her lost soul continuing to be tormented today! I wept thinking of others who’s souls continue to fall prey to the lies of the the great deceiver.
Friends, Amanda Blackburn’s death is tragic, horrific, and has burdened our brother in Christ with unimaginable pain. For this, continue to pray for relief and a peace which only God can provide for Davey and their loved ones. Additionally, let us not waste this suffering and may it serve as a wake up call that there is no promise of tomorrow. A wake up call that ourselves and our love ones are in a battle that is well beyond this world.
Are you suited up and engaged in this fight daily for your marriage, your family, and others God has placed upon your heart? Or, are you hurriedly going about your day striving for far less important things of eternal value? With the two men in today’s story, I am confident they have been and will continue to be engaged on the battlefield. Their journeys remind us that even with our daily fight, there will be unimaginable and unexplained suffering along the way. Rather than this discourage us, it should encourage us to engage in this fight that much more.
May you received this with the heart intended! God bless!