from the pen of Jeff Joyner

A few years ago, I had a sense from God that I was going to begin a difficult stretch in my life. There have been other times in my life, where I could see a clear, visible outcome ahead. But this time, I sensed what I was facing, would require a level of faith, that I had not yet experienced. For this time, my destination was totally obscured. As the months passed, the trials continued to rise. I began to feel much like a man lost in the wilderness, not sure of where I was headed. The more I prayed, the more unsure I became.

One night, a friend invited us over to have dinner with he and his wife. After some good food and great conversation, he suddenly paused, looked at me, and said, “I feel that God wants me to tell you something.” I knew they had no idea of the specific challenges we were facing, so I was very anxious to hear what he had to say. He said, “Now you are facing much tribulation, but when it is over, you will soar like an eagle.”

This past July 4th, we celebrated again the life of my brother in law, Craig Jutila, who passed away in 2018. July 4th was one of his favorite holidays, so some fireworks were set off in his honor. Not really expecting to be emotional, I found myself still feeling twinges of grief for my buddy. Today, as I was reflecting on this past week, I felt strongly compelled to go back and find Craig’s final post on Facebook. This is what it said.

“Took this pic earlier this week. Added the 1 Samuel reference as a reminder.”