Former Alabama running back, Siran Stacy brought the message at our church this past Sunday. I am sure that Chad and I were among the very few in the congregation that didn't really know his story. There has been much anticipation and excitement building up to his visit. We were told that we wouldn't want to miss his story of tragedy and hope, but I didn't know what his tragedy was. Before he spoke, I had heard that his family was hit by a drunk driver and out of the seven of them, only two of them survived (Siran and his daughter Shelly). He lost his wife, his son and three daughters.
I still couldn't figure out how I had never heard about this. We've lived in Alabama for almost 14 years now, how did neither Chad nor I hear about this on the news or something? The answer to that question came as Siran Stacy began to speak. He talked about what he remembered from the night of the accident, the night of November 19, 2007, the night his life changed forever. As soon as he said that date I knew why we had never heard this on the news or anywhere else, it was because we were consumed with life in the NICU, our Sophie Kate was just 16 days old at the time he lost 5 of his family members in a terrible car accident. We were trying to find our way in a new world as well.
We were trying to put one foot in front of the other, hold our family together, grieve for a life that our little girl would never have, figure out how to care for her, and wonder how the sun would ever shine in our world again. Siran Stacy's message was powerful indeed, there is no other explanation for how joy can come from such tragedy besides God being present and at work in the utter brokenness of man.
Siran spoke from the book of Daniel about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and the fiery furnace. These three men were about to be thrown to their death in the furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar because they would not bow down and worship the golden idol as the king had commanded. Daniel 3:17-18 says, "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."
My favorite part of that text is "But even if He does not..." Siran said the night before the funerals of his family members that he prayed to God to bring them back to him. Just like so many others in this earthly life, we too are living the "but even if He does not" part. We are living the "no" to our prayers right now and we know that we will probably be living the "even if He does not" until we see Him face to face in glory. At that time it will be a "yes," we will all have a new body then and our girl will be healed and there will be no more tears and no more pain. Siran will be reunited with his wife and children and our girl will run, jump and sing with a beautiful new song.
Sophie Kate's face lit up when Siran began speaking to her with a smile as bright and beautiful as it has ever been. Ever selfless and not wanting any spotlight on himself only and always pointing to our Savior, Siran prayed over our girl. We were all gathered in a circle around her as he prayed and she grinned.
Please allow me to share a few more verses that Siran shared with us. It comes from Psalm 142:1-3, "I cry aloud to the Lord for mercy, I pour out my complaint before Him; before Him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way..." Siran's message was that God is greater than anything we face. He's greater than death and when Siran said "He's greater than 11-19-07," I wrote down, "He's greater than 11-3-07." Hallelujah!
Blessed by his message and prayers for his ministry as he continues to faithfully answer God's call on his life.