The following is the 10th in a series of talks by one of our employees relating the amazing healing power and love of God in her life.
“There is no greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
This week I am going to share with you a very personal experience in my life and introduce you to someone who taught me the true meaning of living as a follower of Christ. We may sometimes be asked to pay a very high price to live the Christian life, but the reward awaiting us is beyond our wildest dreams. The toll it takes on our loved ones can be almost unbearable, but, He will never leave them alone. For, He will carry them through their pain, through their anguish, through their tears and through the darkness into the light. God is so good. Let me say that again…God is so good.
My grandfather came to this country as a young immigrant from Eastern Europe following his dream to come to America to seek a better life like so many others before him and after him. He came through Ellis Island and it was a powerful moment for me to see his name on the log from the day he arrived in this country. He was poor, but worked very hard. He went to culinary school and eventually married and opened his own restaurant. He made a good life for himself and his family and became an amazing chef. Grandpa was a member of the men’s choir at church and was such a good and kind man. I was always very close to my grandparents.
In my 2nd entry from this series, I spoke of a terrible tragedy that struck my family 35 years ago. My grandfather was the head chef at a restaurant and was one of five people murdered one evening at the restaurant. What I didn’t mention was that he was not supposed to have been working that evening. You see, it was the evening of my parent’s wedding anniversary and they were spending the evening together with my grandparents. But, a coworker had asked Grandpa if he could work for him that night. The events that followed the decision to help a friend that particular night left my family broken and devastated.
It has taken me a very long time to be able to focus on the greatness of that terrible night and to think about the legacy my grandfather left me, but Christ has transformed this tragedy into a loving memory of a man who chose to follow Christ by his example. After all these years, what have I learned from this single act of kindness that took the life of such a good and innocent man?
I’ve learned that our beloved Lord walked this painful journey before us. He led the way with His blood and tears, His suffering, but, most of all, with His love for each of us. This loving and innocent Man, our own Savior, allowed His own violent murder to take place for our salvation. I’ve learned that we must never allow our faith in God to waiver, no matter how tragic the events in our lives. He is in control. I’ve learned that His mother, the Mother He gave to each of us, is with us in our suffering as she, too, walked this painful journey before us. I’ve learned to unite my suffering to the very cross that has saved me knowing that what awaits me is an eternity with the One true Love of my life. I’ve learned that love will always triumph over evil. Our journey here is very brief, but each of us has the power to leave our mark, the mark of love to a hurting world.
I have no doubt in my mind that on that dark, cold night in December all those years ago, the gates of heaven opened wide and the light of God shone forth to welcome that innocent soul Home and the Voice of Truth in all His mercy proclaimed, “Well done, good and faithful servant, welcome Home”. God is so good!
God’s love be with you,