Tonight, I sit on my couch with a heart shattered. At 10:40 am this morning I received the news that my good friend (and praise team mate) Karri Barnett has passed away due to complications involving a blood clot. Karri was young. In her 20s in fact. She was joyful, encouraging, full of laughter but most importantly a shining example of Christ's love. The irony of Thanksgiving does not fall short on me today. I might be even more distraught today if I had not been reminded of God's word as presented over the last two weeks in worship. On Sunday November 16th we as congregation were asked "How is thankfulness a sacrifice"? How can we possibly still be thankful to a God who calls us to lose the very things we hold dear? My very human nature screams with hatred at the thought of loss. It is my nature to curse the pain or to ask why. Only to have the answer whispered back to me "Be still and know I am God". How can this be? How can a God who loves me and others so much allow so much pain and STILL yet expect us to be thankful. I want to shake my fist. I want to weep. But if I am still He whispers again saying, "Did the suffering of my son bring a church together?" "Did not his pain and cries of agony draw you together in worship to sing of his love (and sacrifice)?" Without this pain, without this loss I would truly not know what it would be like to be grateful. So, tonight I think about Karri. I wonder, in the midst of my pain and her husband and family's suffering how can I honor God. The answer I find is, I will worship Him as Karri did. I will light up a room not because of who I am but because of who He is in me. I will say thank you God for a good and faithful servant and friend. I will beat my chest as King David once did in Psalm 13 crying:
"How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the Lord's praise,
for he has been good to me.
There is a reason the last verse is in bold. It is because David was thankful in sacrifice. And so shall I be. God THANK YOU for Karri!