Tragedy struck the town I live in Thursday evening when a student that I had in my last ministry was killed in a car accident.
Nick Downs was a good kid. We all loved him dearly. Probably the funniest thing I will remember Nick for was the day that I got a text message that read, “Nick: Hey man can we hang out later?” I instantly thought it was Nick Downs. So I text him “Adam: Ya man maybe we’ll go get some ice cream.” So I show up to Nick Down’s house and said hey man let’s go get ice cream. He was like… uhh… okay and gave me a weird look. We got in my truck and I said, what’s up? He said not a lot. I thought… that’s weird. I thought he wanted to hang out. THEN IT HIT ME… I had recently met another kid named Nick and only saved him in my phone as “Nick”. Nick Downs was saved as “Nick Downs”. Nick never knew about the little mix up. I don’t think he would have minded. Now that he’s gone… I’m grateful for my mix up and for the time we got to spend with each other because of it.
Tanya tweeted earlier today about the loss of our friend and hashtagged it #MakeYourDashCount. I’m still not sure where it originated but it is in reference to the hyphen on a tombstone in between the years of birth and death. John Piper calls it “Don’t Waste Your Life”… Lecrae wrote a song about it. Life is short.What are you gonna do with yours?
Not wasting my life doesn’t help me right now though… I’m sad… I’m upset… I’m hurting. What do I do… what do WE do? Our friend is gone and never coming back… and that hurts.
All we can do now is remember. Remember the good times. Remember the bad times. Remember the smile. Remember the stories. The stories like the one I opened this post with. The things we will remember Nick for. Our memories are Nick’s dash.
Psalm 34 has been a great comfort to me in this time. I want to share verses 15-19 with you:
15 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
his ears are open to their cries for help.
16 But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
he will erase their memory from the earth.
17 The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
19 The righteous person faces many troubles,
but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
I have seen verse 18 posted on many kid’s facebook pages today. It is a great verse to remember in this time. However, one thing that is not lost in Psalm 34 is God’s desire for us to do what is right. He wants us to be righteous. He wants us to call out to Him… and verse 17 says that He hears the cries of His people.
There is hope in Jesus Christ. I have a hope that I will see Nick again some day. The reason is because Nick had told me that he had received Jesus as his Savior… because of that… we can live in heaven together someday.
Always remember: James 4:14-
“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”
We love you and we will miss you Nick Downs.