This was an email I sent out a little while ago concerning Joe.
The Coast Guard found Joe's body today in the cockpit of his plane about 40 feet deep in the water. I don't really have much more detail than that.
This past Friday and Saturday, I was overwhelmed in sadness and questions. I just could not understand why God was not hearing the cry of thousands or letting the Houston family and Jenn (his fiance) wait in such agony. On my knees in worship Sunday morning I was crying out and praying for the Houstons, Jenn, Asher (his son), and all those who could be turned away from the Lord because a miracle was not being seen. I was then overwhelmed, flooded, and humbled by the whisper of the Lord confirming in me that Joe's family and beloved were going to be okay. Better than okay. They were going to be such a pillar of His strength, mercy, and love. They were going to change the world as we know it. Then, a peace of knowing that there was no place in this entire universe Joe would rather to be than embracing his savior, his God, his friend. How could I be mad? How could I question? I was embarrassed I had done so.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) Joe loved God more than anything in the world! We don't understand why Joe's purpose was to leave earth so young (he was to turn 30 tomorrow), we don't understand a two time deployed soldier dies needlessly on U.S. grounds, we don't understand why his child will be without an amazing father, we don't understand when parents have to bury their children, we don't understand why he wasn't allowed to meet his fiancee sooner and have a beautiful marriage before this time. The list could go on and on, but God's ways are not our ways. Sometime this past year, Joe sent an email praying Psalm 120 over his son. I would encourage everyone to read it, it's pretty powerful.
I sought Joe's guidance a couple months ago in a spiritual matter on suffering and I think it's an appropriate time to quote him: "While I am not a glutton for punishment, I believe suffering is absolutely necessary in this life to guide us toward dependence, growth in discipline, and a hope of things to come. The world is supposed to be a crappy place so that we can find life in our hope through faith of the day we will be delivered from this temporary place and taken to our Father. I would not be the man I am today without the intense and regular suffering that I have been subjected to ...I am forever grateful to my Father for His lessons, discipline, gentleness, and sense of humor."
How could you not love a guy with such a beautiful heart?
So, why did a bunch of people send and spend their money, prayers, food, and precious time over something that had already been finished? Why did God not answer to a miracle that thousands upon thousands prayed for? Wouldn't His glory be revealed so much more through a miracle? I can't answer that, but I do know that the Lord did some amazingly awesome things throughout the past three weeks. His signs and wonders never ceased!!! People's lives were changed, people's hearts were softened and opened to God, the saints were in unison in praises their King-what music to His ears! We may not see the miracles, but we trust they are there because we have a miraculous God! Jehova Elyon (Lord most high)!
I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that I am grief stricken. My heart is despondent for the loss his family has endured. I'm distraught that I don't get to hear Joe laugh or give wisdom and that I won't get to be at his wedding or see him father more awesome children. I can't imagine what his family is going through. Please keep praying for them. Nahum 1:7 says, "The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him." "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted". (Matt. 5:4).
What an amazing comfort and peace his family and friends have knowing EXACTLY were Joe is. There is no doubt, no question, Joe Houston is in his spiritual body among the heavens having a blast! Please do not let this season pass. I beg you to not let a day go by that you do not have that same confidence or share it with someone you love that doesn't. We have lost one of the most precious souls on this earth....DO NOT LET IT BE IN VAIN! Worship and adore his God, give and receive the peace that passes all understanding.
Thank you again for all who prayed, searched, hoped, gave, and sacrificed....we are proud to call you family.