(Looking at this photo breaks my heart all over again!) :(
I want to begin with a beautiful note from Jason's parents:
"We miss our kids as much as ever, but the Lord has been so good to reveal to us how He is still using this tragedy to change lives. We cannot comprehend His ways nor His timing, but just trust, in simple faith, that He will continue to work out a wonderful plan. Our desire is to give God the glory in all that He does, in joyful times and in difficult situations. We thank everyone for their words of encouragement and for your prayers. We are in California, visiting friends at Rock'n'Water and so appreciate the role they played in Jason and Lindsay's lives.
~ Bob and Delores
Today marks the 5th "anniversary" of the day that Jason & Lindsay were killed. ♥
I can't believe it's been 5 years already! Five years ago today... none of us knew yet what had happened. In the days that followed... this tragedy that is every parents' nightmare became a reality for the Allens and the Cutshalls. But their attitude and rock-solid faith in God became a testament to God's grace and presence in the midst of such a heart-wrenching and life-altering tragedy. I have learned SO MUCH from them!
What happened to Jason & Lindsay forever changed my life! At the time that it happened, I wasn't taking my faith very seriously... and I'm ashamed to say that. But when I learned of the way that Jason & Lindsay were truly living their lives for Christ... God really opened my eyes to the fact that there was another way He wanted me to be living! He wanted me to be living my life for HIM... and not for myself. That takes some real discipline because it's SO easy in this world to get trapped in the "me first" mentality! And I'm sure many of you reading this know exactly what I mean! But we are all on this planet for a reason... for a God-given purpose. No matter how we were born, who we were born to, where we came from or what we've been through... NONE of us are here by accident! We are here because God put us here. But it is up to us whether or not we choose to believe in Him and follow Him.
|"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."|
~ Jeremiah 29:11
Jason and Lindsay hoped to influence young people to follow Jesus. They wanted to set an example with their lives, and they were doing so... but God allowed them to die. I don't understand all of God's reasoning behind it... but He clearly knew that many MANY people would come to know Christ through this tragedy! God has been SO good! It was evident, immediately after Jason & Lindsay's deaths, that God was never going to let this happen in vain! I will thank Him for that for eternity! God knew that this would hurt like crazy for those who knew and loved Jason & Lindsay... but He also knew that we all would be refined by it, that people would find Him through it, and that He would ultimately be glorified! And I'm SURE that Jason & Lindsay are so humbled! God loved them enough to set an example for us with their lives and their deaths. He chose them for a reason! His ways are not always our ways, but He is wiser and He is HOLY... and I am always in awe of the mysterious ways that He works.
I am praying for all of you who will read this! I hope that you are encouraged by Jason & Lindsay's story, because it is a real God story as well! God can use everything we go through, both good and bad, for our good if we let Him. He breathed life into each and every one of us... and He loves us all SO much!
I know that a lot of people wonder how a loving God could allow such suffering in the world. I don't understand it either... but I've experienced enough of God's grace, peace and presence in such powerful ways that it's changed my entire perspective on EVERYTHING! I had the blessing to go to South Africa on a mission trip a year ago... and I saw a lot of suffering there. But the beautiful people I met and worked with there who had relatively NOTHING were some of the truest Christ-following people I have ever been blessed to meet in my entire life! Because they have so little, they rely on God for everything! Their faith in Him is authentic and powerful; they expect miracles and get miracles! The same God that loves us and wants to know us, is the same God who carries them through the difficulties of poverty and disease. None of the people I met there complained once about their situation. I'm sure they know the injustice of it all, since literally just down the road, people are living in wealth and prosperity. But they see the opportunity in every difficulty... and for them, the joy of Christ far outweighs the sorrow they've experienced.
That is the same God I choose to follow! He is the same God that so many people have lived and died for! He is a loving God who wants to carry us through the suffering in our lives... because there will be suffering. None of us are exempt. But you will never have true hope if you choose to walk alone.
|"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."|
~ Deuteronomy 31:6
"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
~ Matthew 11:28-30
"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God."
~ Psalm 42:5-6a
"But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love."
~ Psalm 33:18
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, Whom He has given us."
~ Romans 5:1-5
Please pray for Jason & Lindsay's families! No doubt this 5 year mark is going to be very difficult in many ways. There is still a lot of pain... but God is always gracious. ♥ He is VERY real and VERY present in the sorrow of all who love Him.