*Today, July 23rd, is the 9th anniversary of losing my older brother Josh. On the morning of 7/23/03 Josh was leading a convoy as a Troop Commander in Iraq when an IED suddenly took his life and changed ours forever. Josh was an amazing brother, son, husband, friend, commander and soldier.
How did Josh leave a legacy that continues to affect so many of us? I’ll leave it to him to explain, in his own words.
by J.T. Byers
I am no one special, save through your grace
And yet, the blessings befallen upon me
Are far too numerous to count and
Scores more plentiful than I ever deserve
I have committed my life to your service
In whatever capacity your will leads me to fulfill
And yet, my sinful nature ne’er fails to surface.
I, alone, have nothing to offer except my very being
And that is yours, Lord, my all.
I shamefully lay my inadequacies at your nail-scarred feet
As you lovingly toss them away, filling me with your Spirit.
Through my weaknesses, those shortcomings, you are strong
Though I feel I have nothing to offer,
You feel differently – you use me as your vessel
You fill me to overflow with your love, grace, and power.
So many others seem to be so much worthier servants than I.
I hardly feel worthy to be your representative on earth
And I am not…alone – As your Holy Spirit dwells within me,
The same spirit that gave the disciples the power to work
miracles in your name. The same spirit you called upon in your
time on this earth.
I am open, and that is enough. I am willing to make whatever
Sacrifice is needed for the kingdom, and that is all you have asked.
For you came to a stable in Bethlehem to do your work,
You went to fishermen to be your disciples to assist in that work,
And you have come to me, in my heart, to continue that same work.
You believed in me 2,000 years ago when my existence could not have
and I believe in you and the power that you hold inside of me today, as I
move forward in that power, taking heaven by storm, fighting the good
fight in your Name – past my inadequacies, in rebellion of the mortal
hindrances that may seem to control me, forward in your redeeming
power, cleansed by the blood – my inadequacies washed away.
You have overcome the world and all that is in it
So I will not fear, your cross I will bear.
Please lay it upon my shoulders.
***This poem and other writings by Josh can be found in our Dad’s book, Keep Moving Forward: My Son’s Last Words.