Both yesterday and today, my first thoughts in the morning were of her.
And how much she impacted my life and really countless others.
She was taken way too soon-as far as I'm concerned; but in His perfect timing.
One year ago today, God decided to bring His sweet angel, Katie Noel Parsons May home. (http://missyscud.blogspot.com/2011/07/life-is-unfairlearning-to-deal-with.html)
I made a vow that day to pray for her sweet man, Johnny, and her precious family, Gary, Jeanne , Hannah and Tots , everyday for a year.
Today the year ends, but I won't stop praying for them.
Tonight I get the immense privilege of guiding our 17 interns thru Romans 8.
I told them last week this is my favorite chapter in all of Scripture-and truly it is.
As I have studied this week, and read great teaching by Ray Stedman and Chuck Swindoll, I have been again so grateful for this chapter.
I mean , aside from Matt 28:5-7 where we are told that Jesus had risen from the dead (and in other gospel accounts as well) and know now that He conquered sin and death, Romans 8:1 is the BEST news ever:
"Therefore, there is now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus."
NEVER NEVER NEVER any condemnation for my sins. They have been taken and nailed to the Cross.
This doesn't mean that I will never make mistakes, never fail or never sin again. It means that I won't be condemned for them.
There is NEVER anything God's enemy can do , or make me think, to change the fact that I am no longer condemned.
That's the answer to all my perplexities and wonderings if I can fall from God's grace. NO I can't and either can you if you know Jesus Christ as your Savior.
I could probably spend weeks studying this chapter because there's so much TRUTH and encouragement here for me.
But today as I was preparing my thoughts and how I want to lead the discussion tonight, I kept thinking of Katie and all that she endured in her struggle against pulmonary hypertension.
Romans 8:28 is probably one of the most often quoted verses in the Bible:
"and we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."
Was Katie's death good?? Not according to me. But for Katie? Well she is now in eternity with the LORD she loved and served so well. It is hard to imagine she would want to leave heaven.
The section in Romans that verse 28 falls in is from verses 16-30. In this section it talks about our suffering and how it doesn't compare to the glory that will be revealed in us.
My sweet friend Katie went thru alot of physical suffering waiting for her lung transplant. But she also went thru alot of emotional suffering a few years prior to her death.
Our family prayed alot for Katie and her family thru the years. The Parsons are a family that make you feel that you are their best friends whenever you are with them. We love them and count them so very dear to us.
As parents, Scud and I could only begin to fathom the pain Gary and Jeanne went through as they watched Katie struggle. So it was not only easy, but an extreme privilege to pray for them.
Katie suffered alot but wasn't a complainer at all. In fact, she gave us all hope to cling to. Katie wanted all of us to enjoy life to the fullest , just as she had. She pointed us to JESUS by the way she lived and by the way she died.
YES, God did use Katie's death for good, because there are so many of us who considered her our friend, who want to live our lives as she did. Giving hope, extending grace and forgiveness, loving completely.
There are 2 verses in Romans that bring me comfort:
v27 says: And He who searches our hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit , because the Spirit interecedes for the saints in accordance with God's will"
So as we prayed for a miracle for Katie, the Holy Spirit prayed according to the Father's will.
I don't understand that. We all wanted her to live. But the Father wanted her with Him and now her suffering is nothing; she is reveling in the Father's glory.
When we don't know how to pray, there is the Beloved Holy Spirit praying for us according to God's perfect will.
I love that. So often I find myself praying for someone or something and I really don't know how to pray. Isn't it wonderful that the Holy Spirit never is at a loss how to pray??
And then there's Romans 8:34 that says : Christ Jesus who died, who more than that was raised to life-is at the right hand of God, and is also interceding for us"
Jesus is at the Father's right hand- He has His Dad's ear and He is whispering to Him, prayer requests for us!! How GREAT is that?? Both the Son of God and the Spirit of God are praying for us!!
No wonder there is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus!!
And then there's the end of Romans 8. Verses 31-19 that tell us NOTHING will ever come between God and His love for us. Nothing can separate from His love. Not the death of a loved one. Not a spouse betraying us. Not a child who goes the wrong way. Not a boss who mistreats us. Not a friend who gossips about us .
NOTHING. NOTHING at all.
We aren't ever condemend and we will always be LOVED and cherished by the Father.
I hope you will be like me and thank and praise Him today for this.