It's been two weeks now since my nephew ended his own life, just as his father had done only four months previous. I had lived with their family (my sister, her husband, and their children) for two or three years when I was coming up, so I was close to them and these deaths have hit me hard. But in the midst of this trial, the Lord has been a rock of salvation and comfort and strength and help to me, and I love him for it.
Last Sunday, September 30, I preached a sermon that dealt with some issues surrounding this tragedy. It wasn't focused on my family but it was born out of this time of grief. I have never done this before, because I don't believe in commending myself to others, but I feel compelled to provide the link to my sermon and ask you to listen to it if you have time. The title doesn't fit the message because it wasn't the message I had intended to preach, although I stayed with the same text. When you go to the link below, look for the message entitled "The Glory of God and the Purpose of the Church."
I preach long sermons--about 40 minutes each--so know that, but if you feel so moved I think it would be worth your time to give a listen. I'm not a great preacher by any stretch of the imagination. I rank myself at a 5 out of 10, and every once in a while I deliver a 6.
But every once in a while the Lord just pours a message through my heart, and this is one of those. You can access the sermon here.
Thanks for your time, and please pray for my family as your able.