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Evans Family Conversation about Grief, Part 1

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
November 9, 2021 7:00 am

Evans Family Conversation about Grief, Part 1

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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November 9, 2021 7:00 am

The phrase, life is short doesn’t carry much meaning until we’re confronted with the loss of someone close to us. Dr. Tony Evans’ family has known more than their share of that kind of pain in the last couple of years. In this lesson, Tony and his adult children will talk about how to hold on to faith and hope when it feels like waves of grief are about to wash you away.

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Goodness of God is Dr. Tony Evans once were confronted with pain and grief. We have a tendency to forget the blessings we've already experienced against God's celebrating 40 years of faithfulness. This is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oakland Bible Fellowship in Dallas Texas and president of the alternative, sooner or later will all be confronted with the powerful emotions of grief and loss. Emotions that can become debilitating and bring us to a crisis of belief in the goodness and sovereignty of God. Dr. Evans and his immediate family are no strangers to those feelings as they've traversed an unnerving path through the loss of multiple family members in the recent past. Today will visit a conversation recorded just one day after the sudden and tragic loss of a close and much love, family member, winter pets with stony artist for adult children. Crystal Evans hurst Priscilla Scheier Anthony Evans and Jonathan Evans. Let's listen as Priscilla sets the stage for the discussion interesting personal many members of our church and wanted to just have a great conversation tonight with you with our family and and let our dad and pastor sort of speak into this issue personally, but without great opportunity when we face unexpected loss, tragedy, difficulty in our lives what that looks like and how we reconcile that with the goodness of God.

The kindness of God.

So some of you may or may not be aware at this point that last night very suddenly very tragically. We lost well. One of McChrystal's best friends and our cousin.

My father's niece. Her name is winter pit winter and her husband and her four girls very young family and so anyway she stopped breathing. Last night we were all at the hospital till the wee hours of the morning just consoling each other we been doing that all day today. I wanted to come to church tonight though because what a great opportunity to talk about our night last night in terms of my father and how he sort of has to take off pastor had and put on dad, uncle hurting hat and what that looks like when your him and but also then hear his perspective that will be again helpful for all of us when you are in a place of unexpected tragedy and loss and difficulty, so we hope that this conversation will be a blessing to you that we did want to start by just talking to you about last night.

Maybe giving everyone a little bit of frame of reference on how the evening unfolded on and what it felt like for you because normally when you're at the hospital to console someone. It is someone that is part of your church, but not necessarily your family, your people so talk to us about last night was about 730 that I got a call from Charlotte and she asked we have anyone call me about what she said winter stop breathing. She was being rushed to the hospital so I was kind of startled hearing that we just been with her husband Jonathan. Four girls and so to hear that was a shocker. So found out what hospital okay I'll be right there I picked up the phone. I called Jonathan Pitts not knowing whether you would answer not. He did answer it was hard to understand his all of his words become tears and I do remember history doesn't look good, because she was not breathing and so so I rushed out and went to the hospital and I walked into the room and when I walked into the room. I knew it was from the medical standpoint because Jonathan was hovered over his wife saying she's gone. She's gone. She's gone feeling that sadness, shock, mixture of both seeing a young man. We believe his young wife and the worst part of it for me was him going to tell his girls who were at the hospital to the whaling that came from four girls that this was just so unbelievable. At the very same time something very encouraging in the midst of the hot tears of pain. Jonathan immediately went into where their mother was shoes with the Lord. She was with her Savior.

Everybody was crying, and some of the girls know this can't be. This can be began singing began singing appraiser saw until he joined in with him is he saying to his girls just folded there family came more people came as we talked about the reality of the night that we couldn't believe so for me it was a ministerial and a personal day collided. When you encourage John the one because the girls do encourage myself but there was confusion with me. How could this happen to what appeared to be healthy 38-year-old mother, especially in light of new plans that they had new destinations that they were going vision that they were sharing. How could this happen so it raises, the question you raise a good God and at the same time, the tragedies of life, so that was my moments and I am before we dive into sort of that theological conversation. I know a lot of members of our congregation. You know, we come to see you on the platform in your preaching your teaching to lessen you have to always be what you are in a very strong fatherly position and obviously our family, but to your shepherding us and people see you that way all the time and I know a lot of people really want to know how you because our how are you. Given the fact that a lot of people you here at church realize that you know you lost your brother are uncle six months ago and now you lost your other brothers daughter so your church would like to know how I struggle between wanting to minister to everybody when a crisis hits and probably letting that overshadow my feeling about the crisis because so I was leaving some people heard more than me husband and four girls, but I do hurt her.

When people come to my office want acquittal give up coming because they want some hope it was some hope with also gotta be strong enough to try to give them hope. So I guess my answer to that is I don't know how I am fully because I have to think I have to try to find a way to give hope hurting situation, gets in the way I probably would have to back away from it a little bit to find out where I am checking with my brother. My brother died six months ago, there were times when I broke down but at the same time I am the oldest son. I got make sure my father's okay my sisters okay so it's I do allow that overshadow that most of the time. It occurs to church and the kids wonder how you feel because you just keep going somehow you just keep this because I do believe what I preach God you believe in the goodness of God. I do believe because I believe I do keep going with some of his personality is drive at the same time there is a belief that that wrapped around because I don't know where I would be all situations in life if I didn't have and I will be back with more from the Evans family on navigating the storms of grief and loss. Just a moment with us coming this November church of Jesus Christ travel with Dr. Tony Evans as he retraces the life and human journey of the greatest being to ever walk this earth over here in Capernaum place where Jesus did most of his miracles is in this place demonstrated truly son of God traveled streets and synagogues that Jesus walked in visible locations were some of the most powerful events recorded in the Bible took place in that much of what you have the right journey with Jesus in theaters November 15, 16th and 17th. Dr. Tony Evans.org location showtimes.

Those dates are just around the corner sure to visit Tony Evans.org right away to reserve your seats for the limited engagement of journey with Jesus well before we get back to today's conversation I want to tell you about a powerful new book that goes hand-in-hand with the messages we been sharing the past few days is called divine disruption holding onto faith when life breaks your heart before her passing.

Lois Evans had urged her family to work together on a collaborative project in this book, focusing on how they process their own grief and loss is the product of her wish in divine disruption. Dr. Evans, that is for adult children candidly share honest questions they've asked raw emotions.

They felt and solutions they've learned through the tumultuous experience of losing a loved ones in less than two years time through their shared experiences and individual viewpoints, you discover your own path to persevere in difficult times, and ultimately to experience God's peace through it all would like to send you your own copy of divine disruption as a thank you gift when you make a contribution to help us keep Tony's teaching on the station along with it will send you CDs or access to digital downloads of all seven parts of our current living with loss series, including today's discussion again. Both these resources are yours with our thanks when you make a donation online@tonyevans.org or call our resource Center, day or night at 1-800-800-3222 that's 1-800-800-3222 and now, let's return to the conversation and pick up where we left off. I do believe because I believe I do keep going.

There is a belief that syntax that wrapped around Ask you these and Crystal and myself asked some the questions that will be a little broader in terms of the theological implications of this and how we have that hope that you know before the night is over wants to print for you because you are carrying your own staff, but you carrying all our staff to grateful and we want you to know that the hope that you have and the reason why you keep going as we were round went to his body singing victory in Jesus and the grandkids were round singing that great legacy because you have had that anchor that now you have grandchildren and great-grandchildren that in the face of said tragedy are able to say how great is our God were grateful for that. But we do when asking questions that will help us wrap our minds around your thoughts on the goodness of God on evil on tragedy on why things like this are allowed that don't make sense and those sorts of things. I guess I know many of you have experienced the same thing and you know with winter.

Specifically, in our situation, you know, leaving behind Jonathan Pitts and for little girls. How do we continue to messages. God is good is all they see is tragedy and what God is taking a lot of people you walk away from the faith or remain atheist because of the idea is preaching the good got all the time American experience is different and apparently preach all things work together for good for those who love that you get these kids over in different countries or borrowing days from the date or more may die that way.

So, explain the goodness of God as it relates to people's real experiences will first of all, if you get rid of God still got your problem so getting rid of God changes still segments evil. Okay, I think about Jesus's question to Peter. He said when they had questions.

Will you leave me to Pete's answer was where we go go. You have the words of eternal life. So the first thing is that you haven't solved your problem by running second when you look in others a song that people would say no when I compare my good days with my bad days. You know the goodness of God is all around us only comes in the question when bad things happen you take away the bad things we were celebrating with Jonathan Pitts and his family.

The goodness of God as a family we were celebrating and then this happens. So now the question is, what about all the days when there were no questions when we were laughing and celebrating. So you have to put the badness of the situation of God. Such a second is what you got got into his know why do we have this letter. We have all this pain and how can a good God allow evil that's the question on what we call in theology, theodicy, goodness of God and the reality of God's giving men choice and choice.

The potential for evil exist because you can choose against good you choose against good then that would be non-good or evil.

So freedom allows evil to exist, but men make evil happen. Freedom allows for because now you have a choice, but men actualize when we actualize not evil, it affects other people. When the murderer actualize his evil somebody else dies. But to me that's why I need a sovereign God who can at least choose to intervene in the reality of evil in the world we live in. If I'm just left a man and I'm subject to anything anybody wants to do anything they want to do it but I sovereign God has to flow through his fingers before it gets to me that I have that God was in control even with control but not my biggest comfort is well if you take me away from that.

I have no hope.

I met the women. Everything else I have absolutely nothing no control over. So I cast my lot with a God that I don't understand that with men is a question that a little further down that she how can I have boldness in my face. If history circumstances the evil that's in the world evil that comes through God's finger if circumstances have been hard. How can I then have boldface, particularly when you've prayed for God to help and he doesn't because you can know that to be true and you can even rehearse but how do you then walk with boldness if I have one of my kids, and I told him to sit in a chair and if when they go to sit. I pulled the chair out from under them the next time I tell them to sit in the chair. They're going to hesitate. I know God is not pulling out the chair but the experience as a teacher to so how can I approach my faith with boldness when experiences well the last time I hoped God help and he didn't or the last time I prayed for God to help. He didn't. How do you then conjure up a bold, confident faith, even in your head how you walk that out when experiences is all well and I hear people say, well, I just don't think he hears me he hasn't listened he doesn't answer my request. How would you a couple of weeks ago friend of mine died on the table.

He was dead as the family was sorrowing.

He twitched to make a long story short he's now walking around after having been pronounced so you can imagine the celebration because I would like a Lazarus movement. When I walked in winter from last night and John gone. I said down in the chair and I said do it again. Lord, do it again. He didn't.

But the reason I could ask him that is because of what happened here, so having a history with God doing things in your yesterday when you face your today or tomorrow whether or not at least gives you confident that the possibility exists the possibility exists then I have to trust in the fact whether or not that she knows what he's doing because I know we can do.

I know what he has done so I know what you might not believe that it is so what we gotta remind ourselves of all the times when he has come through so that we can walk in faith when he does not come through because we know we can we know he's good. We know he loves us, but we also know you sovereign.

You gotta put all those together at the same time and I will agree that the Bible is full of "why" questions. You know the public of Job is, why do the righteous suffer. Know how to make sense of this. So here's the statement I would give to the girls. When I talk with them to Jonathan. I can answer many people wonder why why why why I can't answer because God leaves Deuteronomy 29, 29 things he had secret things that he does not want to okay that's his prerogative, but I will tell them this. Your mother love the Lord, the Lord loved your mother.

So in some unknown way. He determined it was her time.

I don't like it you don't like it, let this cup pass from me, but you have to believe that God knows what he's doing when he's not doing what we wanted to do when we want to do it. That's all I can history can because I can do my best. Dr. Tony with a difficult yet important perspective to maintain when confronted with the pain of grief and loss. There's more to this conversation will pick it up again tomorrow. For now though, I wanted let you know that the full-length version of today's message is available as a part of the powerful seven part series living with loss. Remember, it's yours. With our thanks, along with the Evans families brand-new book, divine disruption, holding onto faith when life breaks your heart will send both of these resources to you as a way of saying thanks when you make a contribution to help us keep Tony's teaching coming your way. This is a limited time bundle. So I encourage you to make the arrangements right away. Just visit Tony Evans.org to complete your request or call our resource Center anytime of the day or night at 1-800-800-3222. Again, 1-800-800-3222 well again tomorrow will have the second half of this powerful conversation, addressing our questions about God when confronted with difficult times they just don't make sense. Be sure to be back with us for that.

The alternative Dr. Tony Gavin celebrating 40 years of thanks to the generous contribution


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