Praising God and remembering ties of friendship

by Leonard Lauriault

Ya know what? Praise God! I will say it again – Praise God! In a previous article in the Quay County Sun, on May 7, I stated that we need to pray for rain locally and over the Canadian River watershed to fill our lake with irrigation water.

While that very issue of the Sun was being printed, it was raining over the Canadian River (I saved a copy of the radar image, in case anyone’s interested).

God does answer prayer and he knows what we need before we ask (Matthew 6: 8; although he still wants to hear the prayers of his people – 2 Chronicles 7: 12-16; 1 Corinthians 4: 16, 17; 6: 19, 20; Galatians 3: 26-4: 7). Sometimes he even makes preparation for the answer before we ask.

My grandfather recounted a time when he was broke with no hope of recovery in the short-term. So, he and my grandmother went to the Lord in prayer. The next day’s mail brought a letter from a friend he’d given some money to about 20 years before (Luke 6: 32-36; Galatians 6: 9, 10). The letter included a reciprocal gift that met the immediate needs (Luke 6: 38; Psalm 37: 21-28). Praise God! I’ll say it again – Praise God!
My coworker at New Mexico State University’s Agricultural Science Center here in Tucumcari, Rex Kirksey, has studied historical data indicating that when Conchas Lake is low, it’s been most often refilled by inflow from rain in May. Keep praying for rain this May (June also is good) over the Canadian as you also pray for your individual needs and those of others, our community, state, and nation (Matthew 7: 7-11; Luke 18: 1-8; Jeremiah 29: 7; 1 Timothy 2: 1-3; Deuteronomy 11: 13-15; Zechariah 10: 1). And then, be ready to praise God over and over again.

On a sadder note, a very dear friend of mine and many in this community changed his status of life having been exalted from the lowly place of this world into God’s presence where he gets to praise God for eternity (Psalm 116: 15; 2 Corinthians 5: 1-10; Luke 14: 10).
Permit me a few thoughts about him.

Much like the much-loved Christian lady, Dorcas, my dear friend and brother, Joel O’Rear (2 August 1944 – 12 May 2008), also went about doing good and giving his craftsmanship to others (Acts 9: 36-43).

I have a tie chain Joel made especially for me because I prefer both the freedom and the control the chain gives me and my tie, compared to a tie clip, and the lack of damage to my ties caused by tie tacks. This tie chain is precious to me because of the functionality; but, more so because it was made by my dear friend. Some people considered Joel to be somewhat scatter-brained; however, in all actuality, he had a very free, but logical, thought process that the King of Siam would have called, “very scientific.”

Joel had his act together better than most of us, much like my tie and I appear to have sometimes because of the tie chain he made for me.
Through prayer, the Apostle Peter raised Dorcas back to life. We don’t have apostles anymore who can restore life, (Matthew 10: 1-10, especially vs. 8); but, we do have Jesus who promised resurrection to eternal life for all who live and believe in him (John 11: 25, 26; 14: 15-21). Jesus kept his promise to Joel and came back for him, allowing him (Joel) to participate in his (Jesus’) resurrection (John 14: 1-3). Jesus did this because Joel had been united with him in his (Jesus’) death (Romans 6: 3-5). Joel was interested in rain and things pertaining to water because he knew its value (so is Jesus – John 3: 3-5; 1 John 5: 6-8; 1 Peter 3: 18-21, NASB, NRSV). Joel would’ve enjoyed the recent rains here; but, better yet, he’s enjoying much greater showers of blessings (Ezekiel 34: 26; Revelation 14: 13).

Many of us will miss Joel, but I know I’ll see him again because Jesus made the same promises to me (Deuteronomy 7: 9-12; 1 Corinthians 1: 8, 9; Revelation 2: 10; 2 Timothy 4: 7, 8). This is why Christians can say with all confidence, “See ya later,” rather than, “Goodbye.” These promises are for you as well (Hebrews 6: 9-12) – that, “If we have been united with him (Jesus) like this in his death (through baptism – Romans 6: 3, 4; Colossians 2: 11, 12), we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection (Romans 6: 5, NIV).”

For that I say, “Praise God!” and again, “Praise God!” as I look forward to the opportunity to say it in his presence with Joel. See ya later, Joel.