Facing A Tragedy

Today was a sad day, but a day with hope as well. This morning I had the honor and privilege of officiating the funeral of a 3 year old boy. Even now, several days after he died, there are no results telling us why. He was a bounding, curious and cute kid nearly three years old, and the next thing you know, he was running a fever, throwing up a couple of times, taken to the hospital and passed away. Shock is too small a word. Autopsy results may give us a reason, but the bigger reason may remain unknown until we get to the other side.

Was there a purpose here? Why would God allow such a thing to happen?

If you were God and could see things from His perspective, I imagine it wouldn’t be nearly as hard. If we could see the look on someone’s face as they enter the place God has prepared for them… maybe we’d be a lot more jealous than sad? Truth is, all of us are going to spend much more time on the other side of eternity. Life simply isn’t very long –even if you live to old age. The Bible compares life to a mist that is here for a moment and then gone. And the Scriptures also compare life to grass that grows in the morning but by evening has withered away. However it is described, the word temporary always seems to apply. 1,000,000 years from now, the years the little three year old missed on this side won’t seem quite so large or important.

Or maybe it is vitally important? Maybe that’s the point.

You have to admit that if God exists as the Bible describes Him, then death here is not the end but merely a beginning of something even better. If God exists and the Bible is even remotely true, then the next life is so much more important than this one because this one is temporary, while the next is eternal.

Perhaps the important thing is to make it; to get to eternity because that’s where we will meet again. The little three year old boy has made it. He’s avoided the suffering and trials of life here on earth, and he’s made it into something we can only dream about.

Paul would write, “I desire to go and be with Christ which is better by far.”

If by this tragedy, God can reach others who otherwise would have missed out on eternity, then not only did this little boy give his family joy while he was with us, his life would also have been used for the highest purpose: So others would find eternal life because they know a little boy will be waiting for them. It’s very possible that by his death, he and many others will live, whereas if he had lived until very old, he and many others possibly would have died. Days like to today are certainly good at interrupting our busy lives full of a multitude of worries, and reminding us of the things that matter most.

What Jesus said is still true, and one could say especially true in this day and age: “Anyone who finds his life will lose it, but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.”

In other words, if you live for this life alone, you’ll wind up with nothing. If you live for Christ and the life to come, you’ll gain everything because this life is temporary but the life to come is eternal. And the only way to get there is through Christ.

Today may have been very important indeed.

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5 thoughts on “Facing A Tragedy

  1. That is tragic for the family. I cannot imagine what they myst be enduring. But you’re right, he’s in a place I cannot even attempt to wrap my feeble mind around. I was upset with God when my Granny died on Mother’s Day, even though she’d been suffering with severe dementia. I spent many summers with her as a child and she was probably the single biggest human influence in my life. She lived to be 76, but it still didn’t seem fair to me that the last five years she lived she wan’t in her right mind. It brought me to a point where I wondered whether there really is a heaven and whether I will see her again. I was plagued with fear that death wouldn’t be glorious, that it would be just black and cold.

    That said, I’ve already been eyewitness to many glorious events that have come about since her death. My brother has been drawing closer to God after nearly writing Him off, my mom and I are closer than we’ve ever been, and God and I are closer than we’ve ever been. Because though Satan tied to whisper lies in my ear about death, I know they are just lies. And I smile, because I know how awesome heaven must be because of how hard Satan tries to keep us out. And then I smile even more because I know there’s nothing he can do to keep me out.

  2. I totally sympathize with the typo thing. And thanks for such an awesome comment. So many times, the decision to believe or not believe in God, the Bible, Jesus and everything comes down to the moment a prayer was or was not answered, or the moment a loved one lived or died, or any of those moments when we so desperately wanted God to intervene and He didn’t.

    Do we believe in our Savior because He suffered, too? Do we quit believing because we suffer too much? If we can’t know for sure, do we give up all hope?

    The Bible says God put eternity in the hearts of men. Even our movies and literature cry out for a good ending, for meaning and a victory over what is evil, dark, and unfair. And even an atheist will usually tell me they’d love to believe if only they could. And the crazy thing is, they could. None of us will ever have all the evidence. Belief is our choice to make.

    It just ain’t always easy is it? 🙂

    PS… I really am glad to know I’m not the only one who makes typos!

  3. Brian this is the first time I have visited your site. I want to thank you for the wonderful things you wrote here. Like I said I had not visited your site before and to read what you wrote and to now see it coming true for me anyway is very inspiring. You did a wonderful job at Dakota’s funeral and helping me to understand, I will forever be greatful. And thank you for bringing me up in front of the church the other day it really felt good.Again thank you so much for everything.

  4. Thank you very much Tonie. I hope anything I may have said or done didn’t really come from me, but came from God through me. God’s going to use you to help others, and he’s there for you right now and will always be. Lean on him when you need to.

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