• Stefan Youngblood

Leave a Legacy

“I feel like an orphan.” That sentence had a crushing effect on me today as a friend whose father had passed struggled to find the right words to communicate her feelings, at the recent and sudden loss of her mother. “We were best friends,” she said. My ears listened as my heart prayed.

I hate loss. Oh sure, I know there are plenty of Bible verses, stories, and lessons to help us through. But, man, does it seem like the bitter events in life sometimes seem to overshadow the sweet ones.  It was this week last year, February 8 to be exact, that a dear friend called me with the news that after a long and brave battle with cancer, my little friend, 8-year-old Ella Newmiller went on to be with the Lord. She was a gift to the world and a special blessing in my life, and yet I know there’s not a better place that she could be than in the presence of Jesus. I still feel a sense of sorrow and grief that she’s no longer here to sing with me. If there were such a thing as being beautifully off-key, she mastered it. If there were such thing as a dry wit, hers was a desert. And for some strange reason unbeknownst to me, she often called me, “Bob.”

Her heart was simple, her smile contagious, and her laughter a peek of heaven. And her light… Oh what a light. This ain’t no “Little Light.” Hers shines and shines and shines and shines even brighter today. My daughter and I sometimes laugh as we study some of her many renditions of… a rabbit. Curious rabbit peaking through green grass against the blue sky always with a big yellow sun. Just the thought makes me smile. I made the mistake once of challenging her to a rabbit drawing contest. What was I thinking? I learned my lesson not to bet her $30 ever again.That loss… a joy.

As I honor her this day for the beautiful, colorful, Jesus-filled legacy she left behind, I’m reminded of all that I don’t understand. Why God allows clouds, storms, setbacks, pain, and loss. I hold to the promise that He will never leave us to navigate this life alone. His presence is sure as the rising of the sun. “Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ~ The Message

So, next time you see a little rabbit, or a patch of green grass, or the big blue sky, or the bright yellow sun, remember to give thanks.

There’s no place like HOPE,

Stefan

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