My nephew Michael has made an honest and valid request. My family has faced great tragedy again. My niece Cheryl, Michael’s younger sister, was killed early Sunday morning in a head on collision. She had just turned 34 last Wednesday.
A few hours later, Michael’s uncle, my only brother Stephen, died from a rare pneumatic virus that took his life in less than 72 hours. He was only 52 and leaves behind a wife, children, grandchildren, and three sisters and me his brother.
Michael has asked me and my two younger sisters, “Please explain to me where God is at in this situation.” I do not believe Michael is asking this in a disrespectful way towards God. Just the day before I was sharing the gospel with him because he is truly trying to find God.
Michael, God is in the midst of this horrible tragedy. I have been told that Cheryl made a profession of faith in Christ when she was facing some of her toughest moments. I do not know for sure that she did, but I do know that I have a peace about her.
You know that I was given the honor of leading my brother to Christ the day after we buried my son Eddie. You were there at our church when he went forward and I prayed with him.
Christ was there at the moment of impact in Cheryl’s automobile. Why He didn’t send her a guardian angel at that moment we will never know until we get to heaven. What I do know is Jesus was there to take her home. Jesus was in the hospital room, while the doctors were frantically trying to save Stephen. Why Jesus didn’t heal my brother, I don’t know. What I do know is Jesus was there in the hospital room to take Stephen home.
As a Christian this is not our home. We are only sojourners passing through to eternity. Life on earth is short, shorter for some than others. Eternity is forever. Where we spend eternity is based on the decision we make when it comes to Christ.
I confess there have been doubts in these last few hours for me. I may share them sometime later. However, the doubts have not been about God. I am firm in my knowledge of Christ. While Job was grieving the loss of all his children and earthly possessions and being grieved by his so-called friends, he was able to declare about his God:
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15a)
How does one declare such a thing? How in the midst of crushing trials and tribulations do we stand firm in our faith. Commenting on Job, Matthew Henry writes:
We should be well pleased with God as a Friend, even when He seems against us as an enemy. We must believe that all shall work for good to us, even when all seems to make against us. We must cleave to God, yea, though we cannot for the present find comfort in Him. In a dying hour, we must derive from Him living comforts; and this is to trust Him, though He slay us.
That is our great calling as Christians. We are to cleave to God, even if He slays us. We trust Christ only. We do not trust our feelings or our reasoning. Emotions will carry us over the edge into a dark abyss. Christ will carry us across it.
I took a nap yesterday afternoon and dreamed that my world was normal. Then my phone rang and my sister-in-law was calling to tell my Stephen has passed away. I went to bed last night seeking the same dream world. It came…and then 12 hours after Lori called…I awoke at 3 am and reality was back. My world was not normal. But it was steady. I’ve wept for my niece and my brother. I shall do so over and over again. But even in my extreme fatigue, I have joy. That too is from Christ…
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5b)
Notice that the psalmist did not write “ relief comes in the morning” or “rest comes in the morning” or even “rescue comes in the morning.” No, he wrote “joy comes in the morning.” Relief, rest, and rescue shall come with time. The thing I learned through losing Eddie is that our loss becomes less traumatic over time. We never really get over it, but Jesus helps us get through it.
So Michael my dear nephew, God is right here. He is right there were you are reading this right now. If you call out to Jesus to save you and to help you get through this tragedy, He will do so.
He does it for anyone who surrenders their will to Him.
Because of that, in the midst of great sorrow we can find living comforts.
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Copyright © 2013 David Jeffers