Sunday, 5 June 2016

How great the pain of searing loss

Hi Team

Three years ago almost to the day our family and friends had an experience I thought I should write down and pass along to people we love. 

Our only son, Connor (12), went missing for three hours yesterday after his rep rugby practice. For an agonising period of time yesterday we thought we had lost him forever.

I went to pick him up from practice as usual and upon arrival (about 5 mins late) the clubroom was locked and no Connor to be seen anywhere. At first I didn't worry as I simply went and picked up a nearby friend who needed a ride and said to myself, "He'll call and explain and let me know his location." 

No call came.

Upon arriving back home minus Connor, Julia asked where he was and I told her I didn't know but I'm sure he would call pretty soon.

No call.

Elissa (17), my oldest daughter, and I then decided we should jump in the car and go back to the clubrooms just in case I missed him the first time. God had thankfully provided for us to have an awesome group of friends over for lunch after church who had kids keeping our youngest daughter Lily-Beth (7) totally oblivious to the angst and panic that her older brother was somehow missing. 

Elissa and I searched all around and couldn't find him. To make matters worse we didn't know if he had his phone on him as it would ring several times and go to voicemail indicating that the phone was turned on but not answered. 

I began to be worried. Elissa (and at home Rosie as well) covered it really well with stoicism but both were worried too as this is totally uncharacteristic of Connor, normally pretty responsible.

What happens next is such an awesome example of Community I just want to raise it up in thanks to the Lord. Several of his teammates parents and the coach heard he was missing and rallied the troops and ALL jumped in their cars and began searching for Connor. Even the friends at Greta Point cafe sent out one of their own upon my telling them of my only son...missing. 

If you live in Wellington you will understand this sacrifice. This sacrificing of the first sunny Sunday after a massive monsoon hit Wellington means ALOT to those of us who were cooped up indoors for 4 days while being pounded by the storm. We deeply understand the need to take advantage of those precious sunshine hours because we know in Wellington winter the next storm is coming pretty soon and so it shone out like a light in the darkness that these people cared about Connor and were going to search until we found him.

After searching for two hours I, in trepidation, made the call to the police to report Connor as a missing person. They immediately started searching as well. Once the police were involved it seemed to take on a new level for all of us. If you have never been in this situation let me tell you that your mind will take you to the outermost and heinous places and just drop you there and leave you there. I had to continually pray one of my favorite verses just to keep sane in these times:

Isaiah 26:3

New International Version (NIV)
You will keep in perfect peace    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
I actually prefer the King James translation of this verse:

Isaiah 26:3

King James Version (KJV)
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

God again thankfully provided that verse at the time I needed it.

At this point of course everyone involved is in panic mode fearing the worst and scrambling around the city trying to find Connor, my only son. 

The call finally came that Connor had been found! Safe! One of his teammates Mothers (bless her) found him casually walking home from Rugby practice (Kilbirnie to Khandallah) absolutely oblivious that anyone was even searching for him! 12-year old boys testosterone surge actually sucks most of the blood from the brain I think to attend to other areas of the body :-)

Needless to say, everyone stopped crying, threw their hands up towards The Lord and thanked Him for a most successful outcome -- Connor, my only son, is safe!

For a brief moment yesterday I knew the pain of searing loss. I will have to unpack God's plan in this for me (and Connor) but for a short time I felt only son is gone.

Today as Julia and I sat down to pray and thank the Lord for his return it hit us both LIKE A TRUCK that God himself felt the exact searing loss when He sent His only son Jesus into the world to be a sacrifice for all of us. God felt the searing loss of His only Son. All I can do at this point is worship an Almighty God who would know of this pain and still persevere with His plan of salvation.

Lastly, I will share the lyrics of the song that Julia and I thought of in prayer today:

How Deep The Fathers Love For Us" - Stuart Townend

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon the cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Thanks heaps to all and blessings