God Can Work Absolutely Everything for Good

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.” - 1 Thessalonians 4:13

Dear Friends,

Yesterday I had the privilege of traveling to Mansfield, OH to grieve and celebrate with our extended family. It was indeed a privilege.

We gathered with family we hadn’t seen in months, family we hadn’t seen in years and even some family we had never met before - so is the blessing with Bridgette’s family. Peter Lovejoy was Bridgette’s step-dad* for the past 21 years - just 5 months longer than we’ve been married! (*if you don’t know the whole story - sit down with Bridgette or me for an hour or so, and we can share it with you)

As the tapestry of Peter’s life was shared over the course of his service by his sons, step-son, grandchildren and friends, it was amazing to see how many lives that Peter had seemed to lead. He’d served in the navy, ran a sandwich shop, served as a police officer, a pastor, a janitor, owned a baseball-bat-making business and more beyond that. Over my years of knowing him, I’d heard about some, but not all of these endeavors, he was quite remarkable.

It was especially wonderful to have different family and friends share and fill in the various “missing panels” of the quilt of Peter’s life as we celebrated together. Even if you’d never met him before, you would have walked away with a beautiful image of a life well-lived for the glory of God.

Not that he was lionized. No, several mentions of the challenges he faced and the mis-steps he made were referenced. Which actually led to the moment that was most striking for me in the entire service.

It was his son, the middle of five, who shared a most amazing tribute. He explained that his father had been an inspiration in a most unlikely way. You see, despite his several marriages, all of his children had been married just once, to the loves of their lives, remained married, and have had successful families. Whatever mistakes he’d made early, whatever hurdles he’d had to overcome, were incredible lessons that left indelible marks on his children - for their benefit and God’s glory!

I’d never known Peter before his 21 year romance, the life lived in constant prayer, worship and surrender, connected at the hip to Bridgette’s mother, but I was grateful to hear the stories of God’s grace, in and through his life over the years. I’m always encouraged, and I hope you are too, when you hear how faithful God is to work everything, everything, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING, together for good - even when we can’t see it at first.

Keep your hope firmly planted in Jesus, and one day, you will!

Welcoming You to Grow in Jesus,

Pastor Don

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