He Will Never Leave Our Side
Brett Ritchey

(finished 'Return to Oz' last week. the good guys win just to let you know.)

nothing is worse than standing next to a friend unable to stop their hurt. my best friend all throughout middle school, high school and to this day
has just been in a situation just like that for a while now. not too
long ago, his dad was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS
is a severely dibilatating disease, one that basically disables your
brain's ability to control your body. your conscience and mind are
perfectly sound, but your body slowly loses strength.

it's been tough to feel his hurt and be unable to stop it or help
solve it. all i could do, and all he ever asked me to do was to pray.
his dad passed away early Monday morning and i know 100% for certain that his dad is in heaven with an awesome new body and hanging out
with Jesus. that excites me, and i know God will use this to bring Him
glory. doesn't necessarily always make it easy for his family and
friends here on earth, but the assurance of salvation, and the promise
of that future family reunion will give hope.

i was listening to a cd i bought recently by a band from Nashville
named Cool Hand Luke. they have a song called The Greater Dance on this
short collection of songs, and some of the lyrics really spoke to me in
their beautifully simple view of part of God's promises:

God didn't take the snakes away

he said raise a pole the snakes will stay.

it will remind you look to this and you won't die.

and through the fires of life we tread,

God calls us to life up our heads

to be reminded of the cross he raised to the sky

it's not over now, we live to see another day

it's not over now, this is the day the Lord has made.

it's not over now, we let us do His suffering.

it's not over now, so let's turn this mourning into dancing.

God doesn't promise us that he will take away our pain, suffering, temptations
and the like until heaven. what he DOES promise us though is that he'll
never throw more at us than we can handle and that he will be right
there with us through it all. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says that no test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what
others have had to face. just remember that God will
never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit;
he'll always be there to help you come through it.

that is what i want you to remember when life seems to be throwing everything and the kitchen sink at you. God may not choose to take you out of that situation, but he is ALWAYS in control, and will never leave your side.

God took Brian Skelton away from his suffering on November 2nd, and
while there will always be questions and answers left unexplained, God
is big enough to handle those questions, and reminds us of the promise
that He will never leave our side.