Evangelist Anne Graham Lotz has recalled the horrible shock she suffered almost one year ago with the death of her husband of 49 years, Danny Lotz, noting that she had to begin looking for God's blessing even in the midst of pain and grief.
"One year ago this August, my husband of 49 years moved to our Father's House. He left suddenly … without saying goodbye. The shock was horrific. But even during the days that followed, I knew that God had not been caught by surprise," Lotz wrote in a blog post.
"Danny's move was not an accident — at least from Heaven's perspective. So I began to look for God's blessings. They were easy to find because He showered them down in abundance, and is still doing so today. But I have had to choose to open my eyes and focus on the blessings instead of on the pain and grief," she added.
Danny Lotz was found unconscious in the swimming pool of the family's Raleigh home in North Carolina in August 2015, and after two days of intensive care in the hospital, he passed away.
His wife, Anne Lotz, who is an author and daughter of famous evangelist Billy Graham, said his courage to fight the various illnesses he faced in his life, including diabetes, earned him the nickname "God's Gladiator."
"As a New Yorker he was plain spoken. As a German he was stubborn. As a Christian he was a compassionate servant leader. He was more than a man's man. He was God's man who triumphantly finished his race having fought the good fight, and having kept his faith firmly focused on the Kingdom of God first," a family statement read at the time.
In her latest blog post, Lotz wrote that sometimes God's blessing appear to those "whose hearts and lives have been trampled in some way."
She summarized several passages in the Bible that show how great loss and pain have been used by God for greater purposes. For instance she recalled the death of Lazarus in John 11, before he was later resurrected by Jesus, bringing great joy to his family, and giving people hope in Christ's message.
"The next time you experience something unpleasant or unjust or unkind or undeserved, 'consider it pure joy' because you know that there are blessings in store for you (James 1:2-3)," Lotz wrote.
The author recently asked Christians to join her for a special Bible-based initiative in the first eight days of August, focused on listening to the Word of God.
"Do you long for revival? Not just a tent meeting. Not just a series of church meetings, but an outpouring of God's spirit where God's people wake up in their relationship with God. I do," she wrote on Facebook last week, and wondered what God would do if His followers listened to the Bible for eight hours, one hour a day, in the first eight days of August.