Thanksgiving Day is when most Americans give thanks for their abundant blessings. The day after is called ‘Black Friday’, when ironically most Americans add to their abundance during the busiest shopping day of the year. For our family, Black Friday took on a new, horrible meaning last year. Around 10:30pm, our son Elijah fled barefoot into the frigid woods behind our home. He would never return. He died of hypothermia less than a mile from our house. He was nineteen.
How is it even possible that we’ve made it through an entire year without him? Through God’s mercy and strength, and with the help of family and friends, we survived the year.
But something amazing happened on Black Friday this year that has us asking again, “How is that even possible?”
The month before he died, Elijah told me that God had revealed something monumental to him. God told him that he would reach millions for the Lord. At the time, I never questioned how that could be possible. When Elijah was a little boy, I too had a vision from God that Elijah would someday reach millions for Him.
After Elijah died on Black Friday, I began to question: “How is it possible that both Elijah and I had heard incorrectly from God?” Reaching a million people is difficult enough. But Elijah is no longer here with us. Not only does it seem too difficult, it seems impossible!
I’m reminded of what happened when Mary was told she would give birth to Jesus. The angel said to Mary: “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32). She wondered how that could be possible. The angel replied, “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
When Jesus died on the cross, Mary had to be thinking that she’d gotten the message wrong. She had been told that his kingdom would never end. How would Jesus change the world when his death seemed to make that impossible? But God’s plans are not always easy for us to understand, and history speaks for itself. Just for the record, God wasn’t finished with Elijah and His promise to him. Elijah’s Facebook page and this blog site have already reached well over a million people in sixty-six countries with the message of God’s love and mercy.
And He just did something that might have you asking, “How is any of this possible?” Exactly one year later, at 10:18pm on Black Friday, our daughter Brittany and husband Eddie Kirsch welcomed into the world their first child and our first grandson. Titus Eli was born within a few minutes of the time that we lost Elijah.
“Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” (Genesis 18:14)
God had a plan. One year later He turned the worst day of our lives into one of the best days of our lives. Tears of sorrow are now mixed with tears of abundant joy. And as usual, His plans are intended to draw our attention heavenward. His Divine Fingerprints are everywhere.
When it comes to drawing us all back into a saving relationship with the Lord, we are told: “Everything is possible with God.” (Mark 10:27). Indeed!
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