In the last few weeks, I have encountered some very painful stories where God has taken broken and painful pieces and used them to glorify Him and create other stories of beauty.
Last night this was most evident in our family movie night with Soul Surfer — the movie about teen surfer Bethany Hamilton whose left arm was bitten off by a shark (the painful pieces part) but then, through her faith and God’s mercy, she was able to persevere and inspire others while becoming a pro surfer.
I have another story which I will blog about tomorrow. But today’s story is about Ben Koier. Now I don’t know Ben, but I do pass his roadsite cross memorial every day now. You see, on June 26, 2011 this 19 year old was hit by a drunk lady and killed. For me, the story could have ended there. I saw the story in the paper and you see roadside crosses at many crash sites. However, Ben was different. His faith in Christ shined inside him so brightly that it spilled over into his life and onto others. Today would have been his 20th birthday.
Such a sad story you say. And it is. The family is in obvious pain dealing with the loss of their beloved one so early in his life. But Ben, in heaven with his Savior, received one of the greatest presents he could get — factual evidence of his positive impact on others’ lives. He brought people to Jesus and today many of those folks accepted Christ into their lives and were baptized at tonight’s 5pm service in honor of Ben’s birthday. His brother, his sister, his girlfriend, his best friend, his best friend’s dad, other family friends. The list was amazing. And there were over 100 people in that section that overlooked the baptistry that I hope will also follow Ben’s lead in the days and weeks to come. You see, in Ben’s death and the painful, broken pieces God was able to use them for His glory and bring other’s closer to Him.
Our temporary, time-bound, worldly vision views this with such pain and bitterness. But in the eternal vision and love of Christ, this is such a marvelous victory.
God bless the Koier family.
…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net