Apr 6

Rick and Kay, we weep with you. posted by John Sorensen on Apr 06, 2013

I woke up this morning in Malaysia, ready to go and preach, and read the news about the loss of Matthew Warren, son of Rick and Kay Warren.  Matthew was 27.  As a father, and as a fellow believer, my heart is deeply grieved.  I can only imagine how today must feel for Rick and Kay.

I met Rick in person only a few weeks ago at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention.  I introduced myself to him and what he did totally surprised me.  He grabbed me and gave me a huge bear hug.  Like it or not, the joy in Rick’s heart spilled over into mine.  I think I had a smile on my face for a week.

And while I’m sure it is more difficult to smile today, the joy is no less.  Because it does not come from anywhere but Jesus.  And Jesus is there, even today, holding Rick and Kay in His loving arms.

I have learned that Matthew had struggled throughout his life with depression.  This is something that several in my family have had deep struggles with as well.  The effects and pain are very real.  We in ministry often try to hide from such things.  “How can that be spiritual,” we might ask or hear someone say.  The good news is that Jesus knew, and knows, us completely.  Everything.  All of our struggles.  He has walked that road and stood where we stand.  Our God knows us.  And most amazing of all, he loves us too.  And ultimately, He carries us when we can walk no more.

Matthew was a friend of Jesus.  He did not simply know about Jesus, as many do, but knew Him, and knows Him now.  So, while we do grieve, we do not grieve as the world grieves, as those without hope.

Jesus even told us, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

As a father I must say, Matthew’s life was short lived.  I would hope for more.  But Matthew’s Lord is the Great Short-Lived.  Do you remember the words of Jim Elliot when he said, “He makes his ministers a flame of fire. Am I ignitable? God deliver me from the dread asbestos of ‘other things’. Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be a flame. But flame is transient, often short-lived. Canst thou bear this, my soul—short life? In me there dwells the Spirit of the Great Short-Lived, Whose zeal for God’s house consumed Him. Make me thy fuel, oh Flame of God.”

We have not been called to live long, just well.  And the fullness of “well” is to walk with Jesus.  Even in the middle of the darkest hours, Rick gives testimony of Matthew trusting in Jesus.  As crazy as it might sound to some we must say, “Praise the Lord!”

Rick and Kay, we weep with you.  While I did not have the privilege to meet Matthew on this earth, I will meet him one day.  And he will tell us of the deep, deep love of Jesus.  And the joy that he has found in Christ.

Rick, I am with you brother.  If you need the hug back, just let me know.

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