Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Inspired by My Friend

Last Friday was Malachi's Memorial Service. It was the most faith-filled memorial service I think I have ever witnessed. My friend, Kerri, is amazing, as many of you already know from keeping up with Malachi's CarePage, and the faith she and Ben have displayed through all of this truly inspires me. I am amazed at their ability to comfort and encourage others through their pain.

I have a book by Anne Graham Lotz called Daily Light, which is a collection of Scriptures with a similar theme for each day of the year. I don't always read it every day, but I am often amazed at how relevant the Scriptures for the day apply to my life or something going on around me. Here are the Scriptures for June 19, the day Malachi went to be with Jesus:

"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you. Now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. The God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (1 Peter 4:12, 1 Peter 1:6-7, 1 Peter 5:10, John 16:33)

I think many have wondered why Ben and Kerri have had to suffer this pain and trial. I know I have wondered that. But I also know that they don't wonder that; they don't question that God brought Malachi here for the purpose of spreading His love and message to everyone he came into contact with. Through this fight, so many have been blessed and encouraged by the love of Christ that exudes from this family. Malachi's short life has inspired me to be a better Christian, a better friend, a better wife, and a better mother.

Several times a day, I see Malachi's picture on my refrigerator, and it always makes me pause because he and Caleb were only 6 weeks apart in age. It reminds me that we're not promised even one more day with the people that we love. Why God chose Malachi and not Caleb, I'll never know, but it makes me hug Caleb a little tighter, be more patient with his "toddler-ness," and want him to know Jesus more than anything in the world. And the way he'll come to know Him is if his mommy and daddy are showing Jesus to him and everyone around them.

Last week, I saw this poem at Shannon's blog. A father was searching for the words to the poem because he had recently lost his son and wanted to put the poem on his stone. It made me think of Malachi.

We only see a little of the ocean
A few miles distance from the rocky shore;
But oh! out there beyond - beyond the eye's horizon
There's more - there's more.

We only see a little of God's loving,
A few rich treasures from his mighty store;
But oh! out there beyond - beyond our life's horizon
There's more - there's more.
-Author Unknown

There is SO MUCH MORE to our lives than what we see! :-)

Ben and Kerri, you may never know the impact your faith has had on so many people, including us. It's impossible to look at the two of you and not see Jesus. We are forever grateful for the example you have shown.


Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

My prayers are with your friends! I know I struggle to remember that we're not promised another day...if I really believed that, I'd let the little things go & just love my family more. This post is a reminder. Thanks be to God that He holds the future in His hands & that He's watching over Ben & Kerri now! I know He was so happy to welcome Malachi into His arms!

There's a Scripture about Jesus holding our tears in a bottle. I'll see if I can find it & send it to you.

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?

Psalm 56:8 (NKJV)

Hol&J said...

It was a beautiful memorial.

So much love, joy with sadness, and faith at the same time.

I was in awe to see how close and strong the family has been through this. Especially how their faith in God has grown.

MAK said...

What a nice tribute to Malachi and his parents. I know this brings them comfort (they said so on the carepages) Malachi touched many many hearts in many many areas and we know that his death was not in vain. Even those of us who do not personally know the family have been touched deeply and marvel at the faith of his family.

Hol&J said...

Jenn, after reading your tribute, I came back to read it again.

I agree with you.

"they don't question that God brought Malachi here for the purpose of spreading His love and message to everyone he came into contact with. Through this fight, so many have been blessed and encouraged by the love of Christ that exudes from this family."


Anonymous said...

Thanks for all you have said to Ben and Kerri.
Thanks for your prays to Malachi.
Kerri's Mom and Dad

Shalee said...

Beautiful tribute, Jen. Thank you for allowing yourself to be a tool of blessing and comfort to Kerri and Ben now. That's the joy of being in God's family, even in our times of sorrow.

Reflecting Him

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