of hills and valleys

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your Faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.”

Lamentations 3:22-24

FIRST AND FOREMOST.

Before I begin this composition, I want to first say thank you to all of you who have kept me and my family in your continued prayers over the last few months. I am thankful for all of you and love each and every one of you for sending encouraging emails, letters, and cards. They are greatly coveted and we thank you so much. So, thank you again.

OF HILLS AND VALLEYS.

It is hard to believe that it has been nearly 5 months since the death of both my father and brother. The wounds of loss remain fresh and I suspect will over the course of some time. During the last 4 to 5 months I have been through the valleys and hills that have laid ahead of me on this path. I will confess truthfully, it has been mostly valleys and not a lot of hills. The last couple of months have been filled with paralyzing anxiety attacks, depression, fear of death, and doubts about my salvation. These unwanted companions have stolen much sleep and rest from me as my mind would race daily and through the course of the nights. These all started with the devastating loss of two people I loved so dearly. So unexpected was the loss that it crushed my soul. Thus, sending me on a downward spiral of depression and anxiety that sent me to the hospital many times and a short stay with the VA Mental Health Facility. Certainly, I was in the deepest of valleys.

Yet, as I trekked through this valley, I was never alone; though I did think that I was at times. Looking back now, I can see how the Lord placed people around me. I was surrounded by my church pastor, church family, Reformation Bible College, and many friends. At the time, I had tunnel vision and my mind was rather clouded. I looked into myself, which really, never really helps. As I believed I was alone, the LORD was there the whole time. He never left. It was by the loss of my father and brother, the Lord used to awaken me to reality and to examine myself. I was awaken to the fact that our lives are short and as James states in his epistle, our lives are a vapor, a mist that appears and then it is gone. It is so easy to take this for granted, isn’t it? We get so caught up in the things of this world, we lose sight of the most important things that sit right in front of us. My life will follow suit one day and I will breath my last breath and step into eternity. It was that thought that led me examine myself over the course of the last 5 months. This is when doubt assailed me heavily and I was being swept under the waves. Was I saved? Am I truly saved? These thoughts swelled in my mind day and many sleepless nights.

I am glad for these assaults as it drove me closer to the Lord, closer to Him in prayer. I believed the Lord used this event to grab my attention as I as idle in my life. I needed the wake up call to be reminded of the brevity of life and eternity. We sit on the threshold of eternity daily. We take a breath because the Lord allows us too. He is too merciful. Lastly, the loss of my father and brother opened my eyes to the many that have lost their loved ones by way of COVID. Like my brother, many have died alone in a cold hospital room without their loved ones there to be with them. That alone remains to bother me and I know many others are in the same position. It is taxing and grieving to not see your loved one pass away, but it has help me to be a comfort to those that are need of a shoulder, a word, a hug.

Many of you might know Mike Abendroth of No Compromise Radio. He has been a spiritual father to me over the course of the past few months and I am so thankful for him and his counsel. I am also thankful for my pastor, Dr. Dominic Aquila. We have been able to sit together and talk through things. Oh how we overlook the importance of the church, the body of Christ. To be without the body of Christ is to be without family. I am thankful to these two men and thankful the Lord has placed in my life; especially during this season of loss and sorrow.

PROVERBS 31.

Lastly, my wife. This woman over the course of the last 5 months and daily has never left my side. She has stayed up with me those long and sleepless nights to care and tend to me. My wife is the most Godly woman I know and He has certainly given me a wife I do not deserve. She is the epitome of a Proverbs 31 wife. Words can not express the thanks and love I have for this woman. I love her dearly.

LOOKING AHEAD.

In conclusion, I have been doing better. My days are up and down as it is in the Christian life. Our lives are filled with valleys and hills. Yet, the writer of Lamentation states, “Great is Thy Faithfulness”. I look ahead now as in two months time, I will be picking back up with the Fall semester at Reformation Bible College. I look forward to being back on campus and sitting under Godly teaching. I am also looking for a new job. So, if you can keep me in your prayers on that front, I would greatly appreciate it. I do not know how the Lord will use this part of my life and where He is leading me. All I know is that God is sovereign and because He is sovereign, I must rest in Him. To add, my focus must be upon the Lord Jesus Christ and the work he accomplished. I am a sinner and I can not merit my salvation solely by anything that I can do. No. It is all Christ and as the hymn says, “In Christ Alone”.

Lastly, I look to be a proactive writer on here and focus on theology all the more. So, look for that in the future as I plan on making that a weekly goal here.

SOLI DEO GLORIA.

Mr. M

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