Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Providence

It has been hard to get back to this blog. We have had a pretty steady stream of people calling and visiting. This has been good - we've needed it - but we do get weary. I would recount evidences of God's grace through His people, but I can't count that high. God is good, and He does use His people.

My thoughts have been swirling and sometimes I don't know what to think or pray. Several times I've been on my knees and I've said, "Lord, you know ... and you have set many other people praying, so I'll leave it to you and them." Other times, I've been able to pray for a few key people quite fervently (beginning with my family). Some people have commented on our strength, but Juanita and I have never been more conscious of our weakness and fragility. We are weak, but He is strong.

There have been many evidences of God's prior work of preparation. Some may be offended that I would even talk like this, but a God that does not know the future or who is not sovereign is no comfort at all.

I don't have time or energy to list many of God's gracious providences right now, but let me list just three:
- C.J Mahaney's message on Psalm 42 (we chose Psalm 42 as a text for the Scripture reading at Emily's funeral and Ephesians 2:8-9, Emily's favorite verses, as the message text). C.J.'s message is one that we have copied and given out as its central idea of talking to yourself (God's promises / character / the Gospel) vs. listening to yourself (doubt, self-talk, etc.) is so helpful. When certain tracks start playing in my mind I, by God's grace, can say, "Trust in God."
- At bedtime, I've been reading J.I. Packer's Knowing God - it is one of those "should have read it a long time ago" books. I've been loving it, but the chapter I was reading on the 27th was "The Heart of the Gospel." I will be posting a quote from a section on peace from that chapter soon.
- Music. Sovereign Grace music, songs and hymns at the funeral and at church on Sunday. What a gift these lyrics have been - particularly in the middle of the night.

I will briefly list family, our church family, cards, emails and blog comments, the book Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennett, Spurgeon's Morning and Evening - not to mention God's Word - as sources of comfort and strength that God has been using. I hope to blog more on these things sometime, but we're really taking things one day at a time - moment to moment, even.

Thanks for your continued prayers. Life is difficult these days, but God is still carrying us.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Terry, not a moment goes by that you, Juanita, and the kids are not in my thoughts and prayers. Love you all.
Ruthie

jeri said...

Hi Terry and family,

You all are in my thoughts and prayers. I knew the sufficiency of
God's grace at just around this time four years ago, and I know that He uses His church wonderfully to assist His saints in their griefs and losses. Many blessings to you.

Kim said...

You guys have been in my thoughts and prayers every day of late...

Ruth said...

Terry and family, I think of what your going through almost every day. It feels like a mortal wound that takes our breath away and leaves us speechless, deep groans were about all I could utter to the Lord, when we lost our daughter. Music , especially praise music was the most helpful to us through the early days when we were still in shock.
You are in the Father's embrace as your life is changed forever.
Isaiah 45:3. "And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness- secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord."
Rest in the Lord's arms , He is faithful.

Dave Groff said...

Thank you for continuing to share your pain and struggles and also your hope in the Lord. God is using that in my life and I'm sure, the lives of many others more than you know. People seldom open up enough to share their pain and hope, but both together are a powerful testimony to the grace of God. You are ministering to others even in this time. I continue to keep you and your family in prayer, praying that God will keep on meeting your every need through His many resources.

Dave

Jeff Kuhn said...

Terry, it's so good to hear a bit from you again!! Your family have been in our prayers almost constantly. We have prayed as a congregation during our Sunday service, during ladies Bible study and we also pray for you as a family. May God continue to carry you.
Angela Kuhn

rebecca said...

Thank you for sharing a little with us on your blog. I pray for you all every day.

May God's grace (and his small mercies, like the ones you've mentioned) continue to carry you through, minute by minute.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I heard Beth Moore teaching on Wednesday talk about how God weaves even the bad things that happen to us into His good.

She said many people would not understand but even the abuse she suffered as a child has been used by God to help her minister to others today.

I hope I never walk through the valley you are walking through now. I lost a baby shortly after his birth and that was hard enough.

My prayers are with you, that you may know His presence in all clarity.

(I was just reading The Valley of Vision this morning and felt such peace in the midst of trials.)

Jen said...

Hi Terry:

My name is Jen and Juanita and I are on an e-mail book reading list together.

All I want to say is this: Go in grace, my dear brother and sister. The same God who strengthened you in the moments after hearing of Emily's death is the God who will bear you through until the day you meet your Savior face-to-face. Samuel Rutherford had a beautiful way with words. He said this: "I think it a sweet thing that Christ saith of my cross, Half mine, and that He divideth these sufferings with me, and taketh the largest share to Himself; nay, that I, and my whole cross, are wholly Christ's..."

Our Sunday School class in Parker, Colorado is fervently lifting you and yours before the Father. God is being glorified.

Pastor Drake said...

"There have been many evidences of God's prior work of preparation. Some may be offended that I would even talk like this, but a God that does not know the future or who is not sovereign is no comfort at all."

This is so true! I have been reading through 'Desiring God' by John Piper (Very overdue I might add) and man it has been making God's sovereignty so crystal clear... Some quotes from Dr. Pipers first chapter.

"If a purpose of God came to naught, it would imply that there is a power greater than God's...

It would be unbiblical and irreverent to attribute to Satan (or to sinful man) the power to frustrate the designs of God...

People lift their hand to rebel against the Most High only to find that their rebellion is unwitting service in the wonderful designs of God. Even sin cannot frustrate the purposes of the Almighty. He himself does not commit sin, but He has decreed that there be acts that are sin, for the acts of Pilate and Herod were predestined by God's plan."

And to marry this idea completely we go to Jonathan Edwards, "Thought he hates sin itself, yet he may will to permit it, for the greater promotion of holiness in this universality, including all things, and all times"

Yvette Geiger said...

To the dear Stauffer family,
I'm a friend of Irene's and I just wanted to send you my deepest and sincerest love.
Even though we don't know each other, you're my brother(s) and sister(s) in Christ, and my heart just goes so out to you all.

May God's Peace and Loving-kindness surround you always.

Anonymous said...

We love you all so much and are thinking of you and praying for you everyday. If you ever need anything, please let us know.

Love, Michelle

Cyndi said...

I just wanted you both to know that I am still praying for you. You are never far from my thoughts. The evidence that God is in this traumatic event, that He is in control and that He is taking care of you is obvious. May His strength continue to be your strength - I can think of no other way for you to wade through such difficult times.
~Cyndi(Davies) Nickerson

Anonymous said...

Terry and family,

I have written this and deleated it many times, as I just (and still) don't know what to say. I was the first Officer on scene the night Emily passed. We, as members of the RCMP, are very much aware of the situations we may find ourselves in. I joined the Force as I have a burning desire to help those in need, and have no-one else to turn to. I feel that somehow I have let not only Emily down, but your entire family. I can only try to assure you that I tried with all my heart to help her, but it just was not enough. I am in no way trying to diminish the grief and pain your family is going through, but just can't stop thinking that if we were just a little faster, or if I did something a little different, that things may have turned out differently. I have spent some time reading through your blog and am happy you have your faith to draw from. I consider myself a non-practicing catholic and do not share your ability to seek peace through a greater good. Before this, I did not know Emily, having never met her, but somehow I feel connected to her in some way. I hope you can understand this....24 hours later.. Sorry for all the rambling yesterday. As I said, words are hard to find. I hope we will have a chance in the future to meet and discuss this further. Deeply sorry for your loss....

John

stauf46 said...

John,

Thank you so much for your comment - and for your help. We are moved by your concern and - even though we don't know any details - your courage and heart. We will pray for you.

I have always had a high regard for our RCMP, but that respect and thanks has only grown in the last two weeks.

Terry

D said...

your faith during this time is amazing - it blows me away - My prayer's are with you - i know how hard it is losing someone close - I lost my twin 8 years ago ....

Barclee Hugg"able" said...

"for i believe, with all my heart, that earth holds no sorrows, that heaven cannot heal"


i am praying for you right now, at my desk, at work, and i will continue to do so, each day.
know, that you are being diligently prayed for. ♥