May 17, 2019 Brethren Letter

Dear Brethren,

A few years ago, I read a story that I might share with you. In November 1963, a young lady from Texas by the name of Laura Welch, went through a very tragic experience. She was a young lady attending high school, when she was involved in a very serious automobile accident. From her book, Spoken From The Heart, Laura recounts her story of a time when many roads in Texas were absolutely pitch dark, lacking any street lights.

One night, Laura was driving to a movie theater with a friend when they approached the usual unlit intersection. Unexpectedly, they collided with a vehicle also approaching the same intersection. It was a serious and deadly accident.

Laura states that in her thoughts (as she realized she had been thrown from the car), she was praying earnestly for the person in the other car. She writes, “In my mind, I was calling, ‘Please, God. Please, God. Please God,’ over and over again.” She continues, “I was still pleading with God as I lay in the emergency room, waiting for the doctors to stitch my knee….And then, on the other side of the curtain, I heard a woman start to cry…I couldn’t stop asking God, over and over in my head, to please keep this other person alive.”

The other person turned out to be a friend of Laura’s, another student from her high school. In the end, he didn’t survive the accident as Laura and the friend in her car did. She did not learn of the other person until returning home that night, when her parents told her. She had just been in the hospital bed that night, listening to the cries of his parents on the other side of the curtain. Now she knew who that other person was.

Continuing from her book, she writes, “I lost my faith that November; lost it for many, many years. It was the first time that I had prayed to God for something, begged him for something, not the simple childhood wishing on a star, but humbly begging for another human life. And it was as if no one heard. My begging, to my seventeen-year-old mind, had made no difference. The only answer was the sound of Mrs. Douglas’s sobs on the other side of that thin emergency room curtain.”

Later in life, she also recounts the story of, “…lovely Debbie and Jim, whose youngest son nearly drowned when he was two, but didn’t die. He’s in his thirties now, but mentally he is like a newborn baby. They have lived for thirty-four years with the grace of accepting, of not asking, ‘why me?’, of not seeking to blame, or becoming cynical, of being lulled into bitterness. Life’s largest truth may be that everyone faces tragedy. Learning to accept those tragedies, learning to accept that life is riddled with events, large and small, events that you may cause or that might happen to you, events that you can never control, is perhaps the hardest lesson of all. In that wrenching fact, I have faith that no one is ever alone.”

Brethren, in case you didn’t already realize this, the writer of the book, Spoken From The Heart was written by the former Miss Laura Welch who later became one of our nation’s “First Ladies.” Her married name is Mrs. Laura Bush, wife of President George W. Bush. Yes, she’s correct, we are never alone! God is always with us. “…For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).

As I have mentioned before, as Church members we might pray to God and think there is no answer. But the scriptures are very plain. He does hear His people and He does answer. “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry” (Psalm 34:15).

Sometimes, the answer is no. Sometimes, we can’t even see the answer until years later, when we look back on the direction our lives have taken. Yet, sometimes (and I do know from personal experience) the answer is YES! It’s our responsibility to totally rely on God. Every answer He gives us is the right one!

Please have a good Sabbath, Brethren!

Sincerely, Your Brother in Christ,

Gary Liebold

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