Austin’s birthday is coming up in just a few short days, and as birthdays are usually good for, it makes us reflect on his life. We’re in that really odd situation, that horrible situation, of not knowing if his life is ongoing or not. Wait, I really should rephrase that, because it’s just not true. This year, Easter and Austin’s birthday are on the same day, April 24. With Easter, comes celebrating that Christ gave His life for us and rose from the dead so we can be with Him forever. Shortly after Austin’s disappearance, we heard from a friend that he had just recently reiterated his Christian faith to her. What a gift. Because I do believe that his life continues- maybe here on earth, or maybe in heaven- and I also believe that he’s only lost to us, not to God. God knows exactly where Austin is, he knows and he still cares. Remembering that helps me remember Austin with a smile, even through the pain.
Austin and I shared a similar sense of humor, and I actually most often miss him when I want to laugh at something we would have laughed at together. It was usually family, sometimes at truly funny things, and sometimes as a way to cope with the tough things that we didn’t truly think were so funny. I like to think that if Austin were asked about me, he’d say that I tried to help him when I could, and I laughed with him.
This weekend, while celebrating Easter with my kiddos and all their excitement, and with friends at church, and with a bit of family time, I’ll be smiling remembering his life, and thankful that God is still in control.
Matthew 6:25-34 (The Message)
25-26“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
27-29“Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
30-33“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
34“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.