Little girl, I say to you, get up!

Audrey Wenger was 11 years old. She had a smile and laughter to fill a room. Audrey was crazy about riding horses, played the piano and sang, and she had a loving faith in the Lord Jesus. She loved her family – her parents Bob & Lynne, her sisters Emily & Holly and her brother Jimmy. Last week Audrey got sick and was unable to recover, leaving earth way too early but joining Heaven in complete joy. Audrey will be sincerely missed by many; she was my cousin through my wife’s family. We love and miss you Audrey.

This real life story reminds me of a real life story in the Bible. A father named Jairus, pleaded earnestly with Jesus saying, “My little daughter is dying. Please come [and heal her]”. Later Jairus would learn that his daughter died. His friends told him to stop seeking Jesus’ help after the death of his daughter.

Jesus’ response is significant in Mark 5:36 and following:

First, Jesus ignored what others said. He didn’t want Jairus to be fooled by the counsel of others. He surrounded the family with only those who would love and support them. Those who are hurting need the love and support of their friends and family; even if it means just being there silently in the same room. There’s comfort in presence.

Second, Jesus encouraged the hurting family. His counsel was “Fear not; just believe.” This is great counsel because the first temptation for the hurting individual is to fear and lose control. When faced with death or disappointment we doubt God’s goodness that He has a purpose for every detail of our life. Yet, this is reality. In essence, Jesus reaffirms to Jairus that He is in control and to continue his trust.

Third, Jesus restored hope. While this little girl was dying there was no one or nothing to help prevent her from dying. Her hope rested in a God who had the power to resurrect. Jesus did just that, astonishing everyone. He entered the room, took her hand and said, “Talitha koum”, which means “Little girl, I say to you get up!”

Our hope is in the resurrection life of Jesus. Because He rose we have the promise and confidence of rising too. Our faith will be fulfilled when we enter the presence of eternal joy. We will see Jesus and we will see Audrey because of her faith in Jesus.

Listen to the words of Audrey’s father: “God is so close. He knows what’s going on and has a purpose – perhaps many purposes in this. Audrey touched everyone she met in a positive way. She loved her Jesus. I praise God that I was able to be blessed by having her as my daughter. She was a special friend, too.”

 Thank You, Audrey!
I dreamed I went to heaven,
‘Twas you I came to see!
We walked along the streets of gold,
Beside the crystal sea!
We heard the angels singing,
Then someone called your name,
We turned and saw the Savior,
He was smiling as He came.
He said, “Audrey, I’m glad to have you here!
I have a place for you!
We walked up to a new log house,
On the porch an old church pew.
It has a grand piano,
And such a mountain view!
The horses are outside the gate,
And waiting there for you!”
Thank you for giving to the Lord!
We are all lives that are changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord –
We are so glad you gave.
“Back on earth they’re grieving,”
The Lord continued on.
“They just can’t seem to comprehend,
The reason that you’re gone.”
“I have to ask that you trust me,
And I ask the same of them.”
“My purpose is hard to understand,
But you know, Audrey, I died for them.”
Thank you for giving to the Lord!
We are all lives that are changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord –
We are so glad you gave.

Adapted By Bob Wenger

8 Comments Add yours

  1. June Bianchi says:

    It was my greatest priviledge to serve Audrey for just 3 years in our Childen’s Church and Tweens Ministry at the First Baptist Church in Westcliffe. What dearest Audrey has been to me, to so many, who can ever fully estimate. Those who loved her recognized one trait in her godly character which, among many others, always shone out. She was sunshine with a lustre that was uniquely her own. There is no smile as endearing, no eyes as bright as hers, and they will never go out in my heart.

    Charles Spurgeon said it so well,
    “I think the most honourable and glorious thing we shall ever behold, next to Christ’s entrance into heaven, and his glory there, is the entrance of one of God’s people into heaven. I can suppose it is made a holiday whenever a saint enters, and that is continually, so that they keep perpetual holiday. Oh! methinks there is a shout that cometh from heaven whenever a Christian enters it, louder than the noise of many waters. The thundering acclamations of a universe are drowned, as if they were but a whisper, in that great shout which all the ransomed raise, when they cry “Another, and yet another comes;” and the song is still swelled by increasing voices, as they chant, “Blessed husbandman, blessed husbandman, thy wheat is coming home; shocks of corn fully ripe are gathering into thy garner.”

    We thank you God, for the gift of knowing and loving Audrey. Her name, noble strength was well chosen as is
    Bob’s song which is so very fitting.

    Audrey was well prepared to come to her Master and I am eternally grateful that I had three short years to love her. Miss June

    1. Donna Osborne says:

      This was a beautiful tribute to our Audrey!! I loved what Charles Spurgeon wrote on entering Heaven!! Made my heart soar!! The first time I saw Audrey and Holly, I was “in love”! They have the brightest eyes, so full of wonder and joy!! I still see them singing in our little childrens’ group called, “Mariposa”. Arms raised, eyes glowing and bringing happiness to all! Audrey must have been 4-5, because we have been here 6 years now.
      They were always “my girls” and will remain so in my heart.
      Audrey blessed me with her love of piano and I sooo related to her!! Our young lives were similar, but I didn’t get a piano until I was 11. She had a head-start!! I always teased her about taking my place on the piano at church. What a Blessing she was in my life!! God Bless Her and her family!! love, Miss Donna

  2. TIA says:

    We loved her so much
    We will miss her so much

  3. Chris (Richter) Shivers says:

    My memories of Audrey are as a smiling, bubbling 3 year old. I have pictures of her goofing off with her siblings back at camp. My heart nearly tore in two when I heard she fell ill and went to be with the Lord. God is holding her now. I am thankful she was able to grow from 3-11, impacting so many people.

  4. Bob Wenger says:

    Thank you for your kind words. Audrey was special, as all of my children are. The only way I am able to cope is by knowing that God’s word is true. In speaking of man and his life, Job says in Job 14:5 that, “Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with Thee, and his limits Thou has set so that he cannot pass.” (NASV) We don’t know why Audrey’s “time card” was so short (to our way of thinking), but we do know that she lived her life for Jesus. Her legacy of life and love lives on, and I for one am challenged to live in faith and love as this eleven-year-old did. It was a privelege to be her dad.

    The song, by the way, was adapted to Ray Bolz’s “Thank You for Giving to the Lord!” God gave me the words line by line with no rewrite within 26 hours of Audrey going to be with Jesus.

  5. Autumn says:

    I had the privelege to to babysit Audrey and her siblings. I also got to teach them all in gymnastics in Westcliffe. Audrey will always be remembered in my heart! Such a fun, bubbly, cheerful and on fire for the Lord girl! I miss her so much, but I know that she is resting in the wings of our Father. I look forward to the day that I get to see her again! We will miss you our angel!

  6. sara berkenkotter says:

    I went to Paca Peace Ranch in Westcliffe with Audrey. She was a dear friend to me. As every one has
    said, Audrey was positive, loving, happy, and there was sooo much more beyond describtion. Yes,
    she honored her Lord with great conviction. She has influensed me in so many ways. When it is was
    extrealy hard to bare Audrey’s death, I would just think of beautiful Audrey in Heaven helping God.
    Audrey is now an Angel in heaven. I’m thanking God for putting her in my life!

  7. hannah moulton says:

    audrey marie wenger was not only my cousin but my best friend. she was the most amazing person i ever knew she had a smile that could make you feel happy even in the darkest times her faith in the lord christ was unbreakable and she sounded better on the piano then bach or mottart i love her still and i know she may not be with me but she is with the lord
    hannah moulton

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