The year was 2008; the location was Scottsdale, AZ at the street rod event. Entering into a crowded room of folks who had come for the Sunday CRA Chapel Service, I met a father and son attending service for the first time. The dad introduced himself as John, and then said, “I want you to meet my son, Lucky!” As we talked I learned that Lucky was not just a nickname, it was his actual name, given at birth, and recorded on his birth certificate. This father and son team had driven their ’61 Rambler bright red two-door to the event from their home town of Lake Havasu City, AZ. As we talked and I learned the Rambler was powered by a 500+ hp small block Chevy plus some added goodies, and I told John that following the service I would like to see what they had driven. Not only was this Rambler, a ‘Rumbler’ and all said that it was, it also ended up being picked as the Preacher’s Pick award for the event, as well as an article later written in the March ‘09 issue of the Goodguys Goodtime Gazette.
It was also at that service I learned that Lucky (who was 14 years old at that time) was diagnosed with SCID’s, a very rare, life-threatening disease present at birth. SCID’s causes a child to have little or no immune system, and, as a result, the body is unable to fight off infections, and according to doctors projections, life expectancy of a child was a brief 1-2 years. Yet God had mercifully blessed Lucky with what was at that time, 12 additional years beyond what doctors said. Those additional years became a bonding of father and son that was inseparable. From not only building the ’61 together as a project of love, but much more importantly, with John putting within Lucky a love for the Bible and things of the Lord.
With this rare disease, what motivated Lucky forward in life? Not only did his dad place within him a love for cars, racing, street rods, and their ’61 Rambler, more importantly, his relationship with Jesus and a full ‘blown’ faith in the Lord that his times were in God’s hands. In the meantime, Lucky was determined to make an impact of good that would last upon all he encountered for whatever time the Lord allowed. This Saturday, February 23rd, Jeannie and I have the great privilege of speaking at Lucky’s Memorial Service in Lake Havasu, AZ. who lived beyond the 1-2 years doctors said, and reaching the age of 24 years of age.
What do you say at a service of a young man whose 24-years of life touched more lives than some who live to be 50, 60, 70, or more years? At times we come up with unhelpful explanations, such as, it was just their time to go. Or, God needed them more than you do. Or, God just said, ‘No!’ to your prayers. Then others say, God always takes the best. He give and takes away! None of these are helpful to a hurting person. Therefore, what’s the right response when you’ve been praying for a miracle and you don’t’ appear to get what you wanted?
- Do not exhaust yourself trying to make sense of it.
- Do not stop asking God for His help!
- Stay in your lane! Never allow personal circumstances, disappointments, or lack of understanding to cause you to make up your own ideas about God, His love, and His ways that are far beyond our ways of understanding.
Jesus gave us HOPE in eternal life, and without HOPE in heaven, what do we have? Nothing! Jesus gave us that HOPE when He arose from the dead. Paul said, “There is laid up for me a CROWN of righteousness…”
Those who knew Lucky would encounter him with his CRA or ball hat on. I wonder what Lucky looks like right now with his crown on? He has one! His life of commitment and faithfulness to God certainly earned him that crown.
Blessings, Psalm 20:7 Dale & Jeannie