At the Christmas Eve service at Resonate Church, Pastor Davey Blackburn stood strong in his conviction that God gives people strength to carry hope in the midst of hurt. With all that he and the church have been through, he said during the evening service that, "Tonight, I just want to do what I would call a family talk."
The murderer of his pregnant wife, Amanda Blackburn, has been captured. The killer, Larry Taylor, is an 18-year-old who burglarized the Blackburn home with 21-year-old Jalen Watson. Taylor also raped pregnant Blackburn. The Blackburn's 15-month-old was sleeping in his crib upstairs at the time.
Six days prior to Amanda Blackburn's killing, Taylor shot Gonzalez-Hernandez in the head after taking $10 from his wallet.
On November 3, Taylor raped another woman in an Indiana apartment complex at gunpoint. The woman was taking a shower at the time that Taylor and Watson broke into her home with an initial intent to burglarize it.
All of the crimes were done within an eight-day time span, and it appears that they were random, with the victims simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
As the charges mount against Taylor and Watson, Pastor Davey Blackburn has continued to pastor Resonate Church and do his best to shepherd the congregation away from becoming stuck in anger, bitterness, hopelessness, and the many other emotions that tend to flood people after the sudden loss of a loved one.
His focus has been to seek the Lord on a deeper level, and, as he stated in his Christmas Eve message, he believes that the Lord wants him also to focus on what the Lord is teaching him as he walks through the grieving process and trusts Jesus to bring him healing.
One especially powerful point that he shared is that "We believe in a God that will come down in the midst of your situation, and He will heal your heart and give you hope in the midst of your hurt. That's the God that we believe in, that's the God we set our anchor into, and that's what my prayer is for you and me tonight."
He spoke of how God wants to bring hope and blessing to His people, especially in the midst of trying circumstances. An individual's relationship with Christ is how they can find hope, and a conscious effort to look for the ways in which He is pouring out His favor and blessings will lighten the burden of the struggle and pain. God's favor can have many different facets. One of the most powerful is understanding that "Sometimes favor on our lives is that we're going to be a conduit to bless other people's lives." It's that focus plus Jesus that helps to facilitate a person's own healing.
To listen to the full text of Pastor Davey's incredible Christmas Eve sermon, click here.