Several days ago I received the heartbreaking news that our friend Ron Carlson had gone to be with the Lord he loves so much.
When the Cuba trip was cancelled, Ron decided to spend some time with his wife at a family property near a lake in Wisconsin. One afternoon he took a nap before dinner and simply never woke up.
Ron would have been in Havana the day he passed, June 16th. But the Lord made sure that he was with his wife on that pre-appointed day.
When I told Ron that we were not going to Cuba, he responded, “There must be a reason in God’s sovereign control for the trip to be delayed.” Now we know. God had a more exciting journey for Ron to take that week.
You got your visa, Ron — it just wasn’t the one we expected.
We had been thinking that the government officials were obstacles to God’s will. When Ron died we then knew that they were simply instruments of God’s will. Our God is sovereign and He works everything out in favor of His children. So, in time we will see that what might have appeared to be “defeats” were instances where God was simply working out a better plan according to His infinite wisdom.
Celia and I had the privilege of attending Ron’s funeral on Saturday in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. At the reception I was given a brief time to read two messages that had come in from Cuba. Ron’s friends and colleagues there had been flooding my inbox with emails expressing their shock and sadness at his passing, as well as their gratefulness to God for his many ministry trips to the island.
Please keep Ron’s wife, Marge, and his two sons, Jason and Jared, in your prayers.