If you’ve ever lost a child, you know how painful the loss can be. My wife, Cathe, and I have experienced this pain of loss firsthand when our son, Christopher, died in a tragic accident on July 24, 2008. This kind of loss can leave you reeling with shock and disbelief because as parents, we don’t think we will bury our children. Your world literally changes in an instant. Your loved one is no longer here on earth. And you might struggle as you search for answers from those around you or maybe you even ask God, “Why?”
But I can tell you from my own personal experience that through these times of indescribable hurt and mourning, that God is faithful to comfort His people. And He uses our experiences to give strength and encouragement to others during their time of grief—helping them find hope for the days ahead.
And that’s what Mike, A New Beginning radio program listener from Pennsylvania, called in to tell us.
For Mike and his family, August 12, 2012, was a day that changed their lives forever. Mike’s youngest son, Sean, was in a fatal accident as he headed home after a Sunday night church service. He was 19 years old. Tenderhearted. And he was just a mile away from their home when he was killed.
At that time, Mike was saved, attending church, and faithfully serving, as he said, “to bring glory to God’s name and to do [his] part.” But after losing Sean, Mike admitted that this loss shook his world and his respect for God—it changed his life and the lives of his wife and family.
Thinking back, Mike said, “We went through a lot of emotions as most people do. We were upset. We were mad at God. We were serving Him the best we could. We couldn’t understand how this could be our reality. We went through a lot of emotions. Anger and you name it, we were there. If ever there was a time I could have walked away from God it was then.”
One day while he was driving, he heard A New Beginning on the radio. As I was preaching, he heard me say, “Have you ever been in a part of your life where you are spiraling downward and you can’t get control?” That caught Mike’s attention and I began to tell the story about how I had lost my own son, Christopher, in a tragic car accident.
Mike said, “It was the first time I felt like someone understood where I was at, through his preaching, so I am thankful for that time. God has brought me, my wife, and our children through. We have learned that He does work through all things, though I hated to hear that verse at the time. Romans 8:28. He works through all things for His good when we are serving Him. God is going to give us His best.”
Mike ended by saying, “Sometimes [God’s] best is taking something that we didn’t want to lose so others can come to know the Lord. By the grace of God and the praise of God, people got saved because of our son, Sean. We are very grateful for that. So I thank Pastor Laurie for steadfastness and staying with it, even though he went through a very hard time. I have appreciated his preaching on the radio and it has been a real blessing. Thanks very much.”
And I want to say thanks to Mike and to others like him who reach out to us and let us know how much our ministry means to them. And I also want to say thanks to those who prayerfully and financially support our ministry and its mission to “Know God and Make Him Known.”
We couldn’t do it without you!