Renee Matthews was in the prime of her life at 40 years of age when she died a week ago, leaving behind 4 children, 3 of whom are active in SAYM. Pictured above is Renee’s daughter 8 year old Zarria singing a duet as a tribute to her Mother and to her Lord Jesus Christ.
How does a person praise during the pain of losing a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend? God wants us to express our thoughts and feelings with Him; He wants us to be honest with Him and others. God doesn’t expect “keep a stiff upper lip” and stuff your emotions response to expressly painful situations in our lives. God wants us to understand and know that He is sovereign and in total control. Nothing takes God by surprise. God wants us to trust Him always. Even in the midst of tribulations; perhaps, especially in the midst of tribulations, He desires our complete trust. Why? How?
Why does God deserve our trust? God the Father willingly, sent and gave His only begotten Son to die for a sinful world, and in so doing, Jesus paid a debt He did not owe. Jesus the Son of God, asked His Father to find another way to satisfy the Father’s wrath against the world’s sin; yet Jesus willingly submitted to His Father’s will. In the midst of His painful beating and crucifixion, Jesus felt the hurt of His friends abandoning Him, He felt the indignity of the Jewish people yelling “crucify Him,” and He felt the total “aloneness” even from His Father. Jesus was honest with the Father on the cross as His Father “turned His back” on Jesus, saying “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” We can trust Jesus with all we feel because He has felt it too, to the extreme. He has been there.
How does a person praise in the midst of trouble and suffering? The Bible tells us “to cast our cares on Him, because He cares for us.” In the middle of suffering, it sure doesn’t seem like He cares, but think about it…..God the Father gave His only Son for our salvation. Jesus gave Himself, He stepped out of heaven to take on the form of a man and willingly endured the pain of the cross, and the Father’s wrath, which He didn’t earn, in order to secure our salvation. If God loves us that much, to give everything, surely God has earned our trust, even in suffering for which we do not understand.
What does this all have to do with SAYM. Because we who serve at SAYM, some as ministry leadership, some as donors, some as volunteers, all know what it cost God to purchase our redemption. Therefore, when God called us to serve Him through this ministry in various capacities, we are honored to say “yes.” And when our SAYM children and students have a crisis, we have established a relationship to be welcomed to come along side of the hurting to offer comfort, prayers, encouragement, even financial support. It is a comfort to know that Renee gave her heart to Jesus as a teenager, for we shall meet again in heaven. Please pray for the children and the family, that “the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard their hearts and their minds in Christ Jesus.”