I was able to make it to church this past Sunday. I knew it would be good for my kids, if not me as well. The sermon was about worshiping God in all circumstances. “All circumstances” takes on a new meaning for me these days. But, I can say that I’ve never wanted to declare God’s goodness more in these days than ever before. I can’t quite explain it, but rather than be convinced that God is bad or evil – as some might expect – I’m only convinced more and more how good He really is, and how kind He is to us.

One of the songs we sang at the funeral service was “You Alone” by The David Crowder Band. It says, “You alone are Father, and you alone are good. You alone are Savior, and you alone are God.” I had requested this song, actually, because it is such a simple proclamation of God being good.

It’s hard, of course, to always see how this could be a good situation, but I have to keep looking outside my own life. Just because it’s not a good situation for me doesn’t mean that it’s not a good situation (either for others, or at least for God). It sucks. It sucks real bad. And I hate it. But God is good and that gives me such comfort. I know He has plans for me, and those plans are for my good and to prosper me (Jeremiah 29:11), but it’s just going to be some time before I see that.

I remember one night in college that was a particularly horrible night for me. I was up all night crying and praying and aching and hurting. I couldn’t understand how things had gotten so bad for me, but even a year later I saw how incredibly God was using that night for my good and His glory. (I think it was even days later that I started to see some of that.)

The analogy is always made to human parents and children. We love our kids and tell them “no” sometimes or bring things into their lives that they don’t necessarily like, but we are looking at the bigger picture and we are shaping them so they will be successful as adults, even if they don’t like it as a 3-year-old. We’re the 3-year-old and God is our Father. I know God is going to use this for my good, and that’s why I am fully convinced that God is good. The book of James talks about difficult situations helping us to mature, so I praise God for His goodness to think I deserve His instruction and guidance towards maturity.

As I type this, it almost sounds like lip service, but I’ve never felt so convinced of anything in my life. I’m not saying it’s easy, and I definitely don’t want this, but I keep trying to live in the moment while also looking to the future and how this can make me more like Christ. I hope it comes soon.

13 thoughts on “Worship”

  1. If nothing else comes of it, your soul grows in sorrow. It seems like every time there is suffering, wisdom is gained. I hope you eventually see the purpose in it. Maybe it won’t be as profound as you hope, but rather something small and quiet within yourself. Praying still.

  2. You are an amazing man, Brad. Your parents are proud of you. More importantly, I know your Heavenly Father is proud of you. For what its worth, I am proud to have you in my circle of friends.

  3. What you are saying is absolute truth. My children and I are living proof of that. You can count on this Truth as you begin to rebuild. God bless you.

  4. Brad,

    You amaze me and take my breath away at the same time. Stephanie was a very lucky woman to have such a wonderful, caring, Godly man. I’ve prayed for you to have His arms around you and carrying you through this. He never does leave us that I know. If this can give you any comfort the Lord has been so sweetly been speaking to me through His Holy Spirit that He’s coming soon. He’s telling me that we are the generation to see this. To think we won’t taste death and to be back with our loved ones. He has spoken to me before with other situations and they have happenned. He started warning me of this back in spring of 2008. So be ready (which you obviously are) to hear that trumpet call!

  5. Brad. I must say. One of the amazing things about Stephanie’s funeral was watching you. We were standing and singing “In Christ Alone” (which I totally loved the worship spin on the funeral)and I looked in the front row and there you were with your hand raised in the air worshipping the Lord. It was SO touching to me. What a beautiful representation of us and our relationship with the Lord–our hands lifted–empty to our Savior giving Him our all. You literally were stripped of something major in your life and there you stood, giving the Lord everything with open hands. I will never forget this.
    I’ve told many people about this and they were in awe of your example. Thank you for living authentically.


  6. Brad, I have thought and thought about this and I decide I am writing to you to tell you how I feel for whatever it is worth. Reading your blog which has been amazing and heart touching, I feel in my heart that you should write a book, I know this may sound strange. But your blog has touch so many people and you are speaking from your heart about your situation and God, this could help other people going or has gone through the same situation you have. You have brought so many people together, people you don’t even know or probably will never know. You speak about God and your anger all from you heart you are amazing. You could help your children as well for when the time comes to help them understand life and how God works, how do we cope. I know so many people in my life that I have given them the link and how this has touch each and everyone of them. I am sorry but I just had to tell you this, perhaps down the road you may think about this, teaching other people how to cope and to bring God back into our lives.

    1. Phyllis, I think you are completely right. Brad should write a book! I am totally hooked on his blog and how he makes such profound statements concerning his sorrow and his relationship with God at this time. Amen!

  7. Again, I’m one of those Storknet sisters from Texas. I just happened to grab the new Third Day cd, MOVE, today on my visit to our Christian book store. I have a co-worker who is living his own nightmare, and I am sharing the words of this song with both of you tonight.

    I’ll Be Your Miracle
    Mac Powell

    When You’re Down and You’re falling Fast
    And you Feel Like Your Hope Won’t Last
    You know That I’ll Be Your Miracle
    When You Find That Your Faith is Gone
    You’re not sure if you can carry on
    You know that I’ll be your miracle
    You’ve Been through more than anyone should
    Can you find the good in such a bad situations
    You never thought this could happen to you
    Now you know the truth
    You feel like your life is fading
    I hope you can remember
    The life you had is going to change
    But please don’t be afraid
    It might be for the better
    I’ll be the one that’s standing next to you
    I’ll be the one that’s gonna help you make it through
    When everybody else has gone
    I’ll be the one that’s holding you

    We continue to pray for you and the babies.

    Your sister,

  8. Brad,

    I’m glad you were able to make it to Church on Sunday. This post is actually kind of ironic. As we walking away from our service on Sunday I told Julie I wanted to send you a link to the sermon because it made all of us that knew of your situation think of you and the way you have been handling yourself. The ironic thing, is in summarizing, it pretty much the same sermon you heard at your church. It was about standing firm no matter what, praising God and giving all control to him. If you have time and are interested I would still like to share the sermon with you, to hear it go here http://media.the-chapel.org/sermon/akron/20101017a.mp3. If that doesn’t work for you please let me know.


  9. Again, you don’t know me (another Storkie sister) but I wanted to tell you that your words continuously resinate within my soul. God is absolutely shining through you and using your story as a testimony. I see your walk just beginning through this journey and the one I’ve been on for almost two years. So many similarities and feelings. I lost my husband over a year and a half ago but it took me a lot longer to get to this point of trust for Gods greater purpose that you are now. You inspire me and I just wanted you to know. Our prayers are ongoing for you, Brady, Halle and your families.

  10. Brad,
    The past couple of weeks I have followed your blog and have prayed with you and cried with you and hoped with you and smiled with you when you shared a fond memory of your lovely wife or showed your strength without even realizing it. I’ve felt like a voyeur, secretly watching your life unfold. I say secretly because I’m new to the world of blogging and not sure I want to admit to it. I shared your story with my husband over lunch one day but only to the point where you were feeling “selfish” because you wanted your wife back and your life to be back to normal. Who could blame you? We both agreed that we would feel the same way. He was waiting to hear how the story ended and I couldn’t tell him because at that point, dare I say there was still hope that things would turn out the way we all hoped they would and your family would be back together. Unfortunately, that wasn’t God’s plan for you but I know you are thankful for the years that you were blessed with Stephanie’s light and love in your life. I will continue to pray for you as you and your babies heal and become accustomed to the new “normal” of your life. I’d like to share a prayer with you that I found helpful during a difficult time…
    God, please help me to remember that nothing will happen to me today that You and I cannot handle together. Be strong and love those babies with a ferocity that would bring tears of joy to their mother’s eyes. God bless you all!

  11. Brad,
    The statement you posed “how this can make me more like Christ” is so profound and inspiring! I think about this all the time in my life and I am amazed you are able to put your arms around this thought at a time like this. God is surely lifting you up! Praise be to God! And you continue to bring Glory to His name! Thank you for letting God work in you, through you and around you with every life you touch. p.s. ( And I agree with Phyllis, you should write a book in the future. I promise I will buy it!)

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