My 19 year old cousin, Alan Oliva Jr., was out from a party in Chicago with a friend and while they were walking on the streets he and his friend were hit on the backs with bats by three gangsters. The friend got away but Alan didn't. He was stabbed twice in the back and was rushed to the ER but died six hours later. You can read more, here.
This is my first personal loss of someone that I knew and it's just incomprehensible. I mean it feels so unreal. It's hard when things like this happen but I'm finding I just need to trust God and that "all things work together for the good of those that love Him."
Hopefully when things like this happen that we read in the paper or watch on the news or personally experience, we'll be drawn closer to Him and learn to trust in Him more. We need to trust that when God says not to do things (like "thou shall not murder" ), we shouldn't do them. There are other commands in the Bible that to many people don't make sense or they just don't care or purposefully don't obey so they end up basically ruining their own lives if not others.
Alot of times, we think we have our whole lives in front of us (especially us teens) but really only God knows how much longer we have. Alan probably thought we was going to spend his memorial day weekend with his family and friends. I understand he wanted to be a cop. He probably felt he could take on the world. But God had other plans. Now through this, I'm praying many more of my family members and Alan's friends (and, yes, it's hard but even his murderer) will hear of the love and grace and saving power of Jesus Christ and be added to the family of God.
Tomorrow is NOT promised. Cherish the people in your life. Be kind and love your siblings. Honor your parents. Treat everyone with respect. Live everyday as if it were your last. Because really, you don't know if it is. Or someone else's.
Some events can really put things back into perspective.
Two of my friends just lost their 13 year old cousin (Sean Woods) this past weekend as well. After being missed for a couple hours at a party, they found he had been accidentally drowned.
So if you would please pray for my cousins (the Oliva's) and my friends, the Piekarski's, cousins (the Woods) to be comforted and experience the peace of God through these untimely deaths in both of our family's, we would really appreciate that.
These events remind me alot of Kris Allen's song-
"Live Like We're Dying".
"Live Like We're Dying".