I’ve got some family who may be reading this for whom it may open wounds not well healed. These are hard questions without good answers. I strive for encouragement and hope, but you may want to pass on this entry for now.
I have not received word yet, but it is likely that we lost another member of our church or that it will happen soon. As a Christian with reason to believe that he also has been a follower of Jesus, I will not be heartbroken by the news, but I cannot be at peace. I do not know him well, but I know that he already struggled with a will to live. His health was failing. He lacked a sense of purpose. It had been my prayer for him that he would find it, believing that everyone has a God given mission regardless of age or ability. It saddens me to think that he has left this earth without regaining that sense of purpose. I know that at his destination will be all that he needs, but I can’t help feeling that something here was left undone. I know that God is sovereign. I know that He knew and planned for all of this from the beginning. I also know that he gave us the will to choose and thus the ability to choose wrongly. I wonder if there’s anything we might have done to give this story a happier ending.
This is the latest in a string of passings Linda and I have seen over the past few years. We have lost both of her parents, my granddaddy, on my dad’s side, Grandma on Mom’s side, friends, relatives of friends, and church members. As each approached I never knew how to pray. In some cases there was suffering. It would seem that death would be merciful, yet is that not the argument of those with no respect for life? Is not life always precious? Only God can give life and only He has the right to take it away. I know that better life awaits Christians when they leave here. For them it is not a taking away, but an entry into true life. Knowing that, it is still not our place to choose the time.
I confess that I have prayed for the suffering to end. We are not promised eternal life in our earthly bodies, nor would we want it. They wear out. In this fallen world, death is a reality. It makes me long for Jesus’ return. He will put an end to death, suffering, and evil. I take comfort in this, and in knowing that those I love are in love with Jesus. I’ll see the ones who have left some day, and they’re enjoying the wait much more than I am.