As I read the devotional on December 26, 2009, by Rosemary Renninson, entitled "Messiah Born", and as the mother of two girls myself, I envisioned Mary wrapping her baby in the swaddling cloths with her own hands. I can identify with the love she felt for her Son, a love that wells up in a mother's heart and runs so deep when she holds her own child and marvels at the beauty of it all. I thought of the anguish Mary must have felt when He died on the cross that Friday: her baby, her son. It made me think of a dear friend of mine who lost her son on November 16, 2008.
Jeff Davie was a beautiful young man. When Jeff and Joe, his childhood friend, had been out west in the summer the year before Jeff had become sick, they had climbed a mountain together. When they reached the top, as he looked upwards into the heavenly sky and felt the wind on his face, Jeff had held his arms up in praise to God in the shape of a "Y". This "Y" symbol that Jeff used that day took on special meaning to his friends as they looked over the pictures they had of their dear friend. Consequently, at Jeff's funeral, all his friends wore the initials "JYD" to honour him.
As the first anniversary of Jeff's death approached in November 2009, Joe and Jenny, his bride-to-be, travelled from Canada to Australia to visit Jenny's sister. Joe agonized about being away for the anniversary, but committed to do something in memory of Jeff. On November 16th, Joe, Jenny, and Holly, Jenny's sister, boarded a train for the Glasshouse Mountain National Park. There, they were going to choose a mountain to climb in honour of Jeff. Apparently, there were several mountains to choose from. It was a hot day, and when they got off the train, a female stranger offered them a drive to the mountains. They chose one that was not a straight-up climb, because they had no climbing gear. It was called Mt. Ngungun, a mountain considered sacred by the aboriginal people of Australia. They made the climb in just over an hour, and when they got to the top of this random mountain they had chosen, Joe made the push to the very top. There he discovered three initials deeply etched — not just scratched — into the rocks: "JYD". Here were his beloved friend's initials surrounding the special symbol signifying Jeff raising his hands in praise to God!
God knew that day that Joe especially needed to feel the comfort of His presence on that mountain in Australia, far from his own home. God's special, loving surprise spoke volumes to Joe and Jenny. Later, I saw the picture of Joe with his own hands raised in the shape of a "Y" in praise to God. As Joe and Jenny have since shared their story with Jeff's family and his friends, it has meant a great deal to us all. Some may want to call it a coincidence, but I know in all my heart and soul that it was a gift from our heavenly Father to comfort those who continue to mourn here on earth.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (NIV)
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 – We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are a God of comfort and compassion. We thank You, Lord, that when we are in our valley of grief, You come alongside us and give us a mountaintop experience to give us comfort. Thank You for the knowledge that You know what it is like to lose Your Son, and that His death was not in vain. Thank You for loving us so dearly and taking our lives so seriously, that You would die on the cross for our salvation, and visit us with the comfort we need in our grief. Say "Hi!" to Jeff for us, and let him know that his death was not in vain either! In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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