Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Because of Him

Last week, we lost Jack's Uncle Mike to cancer.

Here he is meeting Eddie for the first time. I think he was asking him if he's going to be a Sun Devil.

Jack and I have special place in our hearts for Uncle Mike, with whom we shared loves for blogging, ASU football, and conservative politics.

We also shared a devotion to Jesus Christ. I always enjoyed Mike's blog posts about faith. Though we practiced different religions, we were united in our love for the Savior and gratitude for His sacrifice. Shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer, he wrote:

I might have asked myself the question, "Why Me" once or twice during this ordeal, but I immediately counter with "Why Not Me?"  Scriptures tell us time and time again that we (followers of Christ) live in the world but are not of the world.  In other words, we are not immune from all that affects our corrupted world in which we live.  Where we ultimately put our trust, hope, and faith to overcome the obstacles becomes our challenge.  Do we believe His promises or not?  No trial we face is a surprise to Him. His promise to us is that we will not go through the fire alone and that when all is said and done, we will have eternal life with Him (our blessed hope).

His funeral was held on Saturday, and I was grateful for the opportunity that Sunday brought to reflect on the promise that he will live again. I remember last year, when he blogged about Easter with his family, he didn't refer to it as "Easter," but rather "Resurrection Day."  His weekend had been filled with the kind of happy traditions he loved to share with his beautiful wife Bonnie, two children, and granddaughter, but foremost in his description of them was his gratitude for the risen Christ.

As I read through other posts in reflection of his life, I also came across this:

Early in my ordeal, while laying in bed and not sure of my future, I asked God if I were going to die. I wasn't fearful of death, but was more concerned about my family and their welfare if an early death were to occur. In his small, still voice He answered me with a definite "NO." Consequently, death never followed and haunted me. My prayer then became, "use this trial for the benefit of your Kingdom." 

That death to Mike had no sting, reminded me of this video (below). I wish I could have posted it when Mike was still with us. I think he would have appreciated the message, and I'm certain I would have appreciated his response to it.

Uncle Mike, thank you for your kindness, and for your blog posts. I'm going to miss them. Thank you for your encouraging comments on this blog, and for all the emails over the years that you and Jack shared about sports and politics. Thank you for the Disney stuffed animals and blanket you and Bonnie gave our kids. Leah still sleeps with that blanket every night. Above all, thank you for example of faith in Jesus Christ.

 Because of Him, we will see you again.

Video link HERE


Susan said...

Katie, what a beautiful tribute. I'm sure this is Mike's favorite blog post of all time.

Daneille said...

Oh, Katie. I don't even have words to express what this means to me. Mom, too. Thank you so much for using your gift to touch our hearts, honor my brother, and give us comfort. Love you!

Kristin said...

What an amazing person! Sounds like anyone would have been lucky to have known Uncle Mike! Love this post! Thank you for sharing!

Kristin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderful tribute to a great man. Mike will be missed by many, as was made obvious by the testimonials at his memorial service. I know for a fact I will never find anyone that I can talk as much "track and field" with. Love to you, Jack, and your gang of Erblets.
Uncle Randy

Robinson Bracken said...

What an amazing man to that sort of perspective in the face of trials. He leaves his family a legacy of true faith! I can learn a lot from his example. I am saddened for the whole Erb family!

Robinson Bracken said...

-This was written by me Katie :)


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