This is from a post on Remembering Matt Turner Wall on Facebook. For those of you who would like to see it or share it, here you go.
As I wake up this morning and ponder all the things going on in my life, I just have to sit and mourn for a moment with one of our local families. Today is the day they will lay to rest one of our own. Matt Turner, Awana member and later youth member with my own kids, lost his life in a car accident on Saturday evening. People all across America lose family members every day. And this young man was no more loved than anyone else’s father, son, husband…but for us in Arkadelphia and in Arkansas, it is especially tragic. His father, who was our pastor for many years, lost his battle with leukemia a few years ago. His mother, a fellow Sunday School member, was always a perfect pastor’s wife.
I watched the news shows about Matt’s life. Matt wasn’t just our kid in our town, he was a newscaster in Arkansas. One story especially touched my heart and made me laugh. His little daughter, 10 months old, got to see a monkey in real life. The monkey touched Matt’s head and then began licking the hairspray from his hands. I chuckled as I remembered that Gary Turner’s hair was never messed up! We even did a skit at church camp where we sold special hair spray – the Gary Turner brand.
Lisa came by my office not long ago and I shared with her that everyone thought Gary was the strong one, but it was actually Lisa who was strong. She responded that you just do what you have to do and you trust God to get you through it. Her strength in God is showing through yet again.
For those of us in Arkadelphia, we are mourning the loss of our pastor again through this tragedy. We mourn for the little girl who won’t remember her daddy. We mourn for the young wife whose marriage was cut off too early and I especially mourn for the mother who is never expected to outlive her children. We mourn for things we cannot hope to understand this side of heaven. Bro. Gary himself told us that in the video he made before he passed away. Live for Jesus.
Oh beloved, today is all we have. It’s fleeting. It’s short. I hope you will settle your arguments. I hope you will forgive your mistakes and those of others. I hope you will mend fences and break bread. I hope you will look beyond one another’s faults and see that everybody is worth knowing, worth loving and worth forgiving. For Christ forgave us when we were surely unforgiveable.
Won’t you make that call today? Won’t you give that hug you’ve been withholding? Won’t you just let it all go and run to the Father’s Arms and let Him hold you and console you. Let Him make all things new and fresh. His mercies are renewed daily. And, let Him guide you to make today be your best day ever. You are loved by God, you are important to Him and that really is all that matters. (((HUGS)))
2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;
Romans 14:8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
7.2 Corinthians 5:15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
Colossians 3:12-13 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.