For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:9
I can still remember the day back on the 19th of September, 1997. I had started back to school at our local community college following my accident which ultimately led me to begin a new career change. I was on my way to lunch and had just turned on the radio to listen to one of favorite Christian music stations, KVNE out of Tyler, TX. One of my favorite songs was playing by one of my all time favorite artists, Rich Mullins. The song…”Awesome God”. Following that song, the DJ followed up with yet another one of Rich’s songs. I thought that was rather peculiar as they never play an artist back to back like that unless, could it be? No, certainly not…but yes, the DJ came on following that song and movingly announced that Rich had just died due to an automobile accident. I could hardly believe what my ears were hearing. I sat stunned for just a brief moment and then began to pray for Rich’s family that day for the ones that lay ahead. Rich’s music had made such an impact in my walk with the Lord as I was so drawn to his choice of words in his lyrics.
There’s more that rises in the morning
Than the sun
More that shines in the night
Than just the moon
There’s more than just this fire here
That keeps me warm
In a shelter that is larger
Than this room
(from the song “If I Stand”)
I had the honor and privilege of seeing Rich in concert in Nacogdoches, TX just about a year earlier and the spirit of the Lord was so present that evening as Rich thought very little about being a performer and applause but rather lifting up the name of Jesus and making Him known. There were no announcements, no “and now ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Rich Mullins!“. Rich’s band came on stage and began in song, and following short behind, Rich came on stage dressed in blue jean shorts and T-shirt, picked up his guitar and began singing one of his all time favorites, “Sing Your Praise To The Lord”.
Sing your praise to the Lord
Come on everybody
Stand up and sing one more hallelujah
Sing your praise to the Lord
I could never tell you just how much good
That it’s gonna do you just to sing
(Sing Your Praise To The Lord)
When Rich passed from this life into the next and went to be with the Lord, I had some of those thoughts that turn to questions I believe we’ve all had at one time or the other. Why would God choose to allow Rich who had such an impact on so many lives, to come Home and be with Him. Not only Rich, but I’ve often had this same question from time to time when I hear of yet another life which was taken oh so soon. I think about Cassie Bernall, who at the young age of 17, was shot at Columbine High School just moments following her stand for Christ when asked If she believed in God. It seems you cannot turn on the television these days and hear of these horrific tragedies of innocent lives which are taken from us too soon. At least in my own reasoning and wisdom which thus lies the underlying issue and problem.
We opened up today’s reading from Isaiah which tells us that God’s ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. God has a divine purpose and reason for everything under the sun which He allows to happen. When someone takes their last breath following many days, months or even years of praying and trusting God for their healing, God’s Word still remains true that He is the God that heals us.“…for I am the LORD, who heals you.” – Exodus 15:26 When we are allowed to remain in an uncomfortable, challenging job situation, God’s Word still remains true that He will never leave you nor forsake you and is going before you so there is no need for discouragement or fear. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. – Deuteronomy 31:8
So my friend, if you are at some crossroads in your life right now and are tempted or maybe have even asked God “Why, How, When…”, take comfort in knowing that He has never left you or abandon you for one second. He desires to show you great and marvelous things if you will only trust Him enough to press forward and know that His plans for your life so far outweigh all the uncertainties you will ever have. For we walk by faith and not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7
Here’s one of Rich’s songs titled “Step by Step”. I pray it blesses you as it does me. To read more about Rich’s life, click here.