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First-only-and-lastIt’s that time of year, when schools re-open and class reunions occur all the time.  It’s been many decades since I graduated, but there are moments that are special and unforgettable.  My senior prom was one of those special occasions.  After all, it was my first prom, my last prom, my only prom.

I didn’t think I would be attending at all.  I had bought not one, but two prom dresses.  The first was revealing, but when I got a sunburn trying to get a sunny “glow,” I bought the second dress to cover my pealing skin.  I was excited to attend prom with my boyfriend; then the unexpected happened … we broke up and I lost my “date” for the prom.  Catastrophe for sure, then my big brother stepped in.

Nine years older, my big brother Jack was a cross between Elvis and Ricky Nelson.  He had dark hair, deep blue eyes, and was, quite frankly, a “dreamboat.”  Best of all, with the difference in age, no one knew we were related.  I floated in and out of that prom just like Cinderella. That night was special.

Soon after graduation, we began losing classmates from illness, drunk driving, drugs, or in the military.  Within five years, my big brother himself would be killed by a drunk driver and the storm of his loss turned my world upside down.  I lost hope wondering where God had been and my life started spiraling down. Jack was my first big brother, my last big brother, my only big brother.

No one is immune to storms and tragedy, no not one.  God never left me, but pursued me in spite of myself.  Scriptures tell us the disciples faced storms and fear, too.  When Jesus told them to get in their boat to cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, they did exactly what they had done thousands of times … they got in their boat.  Meanwhile, Jesus went below and took a nap.  Suddenly, a huge storm began dumping rain on them and caused the sea to pitch. This wasn’t a normal, run of the mill storm, these career sailors panicked. Awaking Jesus they pointedly asked, “Don’t you care that we are perishing?” Jesus rebuked and stopped the storm, then immediately asked, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:35-40).

Jesus didn’t promise smooth sailing to the disciples, but He did promise a safe passage. The same is true today.  Jesus will get us to the other side and never abandon or let us down.  Jesus is the first, the last, the only.
Hebrews 13:5  “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Tagged: fear, first, Jesus, last, only, safe passage, storms, trials

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