By Tony Sullivan
To say that 1998 was not a good year for our family would be an understatement. We had all been together during Thanksgiving and Christmas of 1997. We laughed, we ate, we reminisced, and we ate some more. Both holidays were great. I am glad they were, because they would be the last holidays we would be together as a family. If any of us had known what was ahead, I don’t know if we could have made it through the holidays.
Between January and August of the following year, we lost seven members of our immediate family. Among them, my niece and nephew lost three of their four grandparents in five months. My sister and I lost both parents.
Hard Times Are Inevitable
Like Judah, we all have our share of hard times. When we are living through them, it seems as though they will never end. We cry, we pray, and yet it seems no relief is in sight. The sadness just keeps coming.
Because hard times are inevitable, it makes hope that much more wonderful. Christians know that no matter what happens, God is still in control. No matter what the doctors say, God is in control. No matter how deep the hurt, God is in control. No matter if the earth crumbles under our feet, God is in control. We will have the final victory.
We Live Our Lives in the Unknown
We never know what a day will bring. Though 1998 started out in a thunderstorm of sorrow, it ended in great joy. In December 1998 our first grandson was born, and later in February 1999, our second grandson came into the world. God knew we needed a special blessing and in his infinite mercy he gave us two. He is a kind and wonderful Father.
I read somewhere that when the mapmakers of old came to a place they knew nothing about, they would write, “Here be dragons.” It’s comforting that when we face the unknown regions of our lives, when we travel into uncharted places, we can say, “Here be Jesus.”
Tony Sullivan is the evangelist of the Lester Road Christian Church in Fairburn, Georgia. He has also served as an associate evangelist with the Christian Restoration Association in Mason, Ohio for 20 years. He and his wife, Suzanne, have two married sons and seven grandchildren.