Today we moved both closer and farther from concrete answers all in one fell swoop. Melanie Dobson, spokesperson for David's family posted this note on the status of the recovery mission. "The lobby at the Hotel Montana is structurally unsound, and they are no longer able to use heavy equipment to clear the rubble. Because of the danger of collapse, workers must remove the debris by hand. Colonel Cintron apologized at the delay and told families tonight that it might take up to three more weeks to recover their loved ones. Heartbreaking news.
Dwight L. Moody once said, “One day soon you will hear that I am dead. Do not believe it. I will then be alive as never before.” We don't know for certain if our friend and brother has left this world, but if he has, we know that David belonged to the Lord (Ps. 116:15), and we can’t imagine him “resting” right now. Instead, we see him laughing and singing and playing his ukulele as he dances down the streets of gold, and we look forward to the day we can laugh and sing alongside him again.
Thank you for your outpouring of love and support and prayers for Renee and their family during the past three weeks. If you would like to follow the progress of the recovery efforts at the hotel, Brian Steidle provides regular updates via twitter. I will post again when we have specific information on David as well as further information about how to support Renee. Please pray for the entire Hames family tonight—that God will comfort their hearts and fill them with peace as they continue to wait for news."
Last week, as I was praying for David, God spoke to me again through a song on my iPod. Evan Wickham wrote a beautiful song called Hallelujah Jesus and we sing it often at our church. One of the verses talks about God and references Him as "Author of my life" which I found to be incredibly poetic, but not a name of God I remember reading in the Bible. Isn't it just like God to take a song that touched my heart and then continue to reveal Himself as the Author of Life to me?
Yesterday in my assigned daily reading I read Acts 3. Peter is laying into the religious Jewish leaders and says in verse 15, "You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead." Can you say instant goosebumps? Later that evening, I made the mistake of drinking a cup of regular coffee at 6 p.m. I know I did sleep at least a little last night, but I felt like my mind never shut off so I tossed and turned and dreamed and prayed all night. Every time I became conscious and started praying for David, I felt God whisper, "I'm the Author of his Life. I know David's story because I'm writing it. I know how it starts and how it ends. Aren't you glad you don't have to worry about it?"
Today I dug out my notes from a Beth Moore Bible study on the book of Daniel. She talked about the infamous story of Daniel's buddies, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who refused to bow to the idol and as a result were cast into a blazing furnace. God chose to spare their lives and they emerged from the fire without even a hair being singed. It was clearly a miracle of deliverance, much like the one we've all been praying for David.
Beth went on to elaborate that in life, God delivers us in varying ways with varying dividends. Scenario A is that God delivers us FROM the fire. Sometimes He saves us before we even know we're in trouble. Other times we sense trouble, cry out and God delivers us from it. The dividend of Scenario A, according to my notes, is that our faith is built. Scenario B is that God delivers us THROUGH the fire. He says, "I know you're walking through a fire right now and I am choosing to deliver you through it. I am right here with you and you're going to make it." The dividend in Scenario B is that our faith is refined. The last scenario is the one we didn't want to face. Scenario C is that God delivers us BY the fire into His arms. Sometimes He chooses to end our suffering and deliver us straight to His arms in heaven. The dividend is that our faith is perfected.
All along I've been praying that God delivers David through the fire, but it's beginning to look like God delivered David by the fire into His arms. It's not the result we all wanted, but I know that God is the Author of David's life and that brings me great peace. Psalm 30:5 says, "...weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." Eventually we'll all emerge from this season of weeping and night, and rejoicing will come with the morning. It's a promise I'm clinging to personally and praying for Renee' and David's sons.