**since writing this, news has come that a man in my church passed away, Friday 5/13, after a long battle with concern. This news, followed by Saturday morning’s news, that another friend, entered into the presence of God, after her second battle with cancer.
And sure enough… later in the evening, the realization came that put the days’ events into perspective.
Thursday was a solemn day. Unusual, that my wife and I spent most of the day together, kid-free. Though not for the reasons we’d prefer. My wife’s cousin, all of 37 years young passed away this past Saturday night. Yes, shortly, if not moments before Mother’s Day. And while the cause remains unknown; the devastation to the story is that she was found by her parents.
The perspective came as I thought about the passing of lives, seemingly cut way too short. The stories of celebrities and those known by society; the everyday person who tried to make an impact to better the lives of their family and friends and those they came in contact with, such as this cousin. The stories of children; yet to become adults… gone in their teens or grade school, whether through tragedy, sickness or the pure evil intent of humanity.
To watch the siblings struggle through the day, to watch the parents… to watch it from the understanding of a brother, and a father… just typing this is making my eyes starting to blur from the water I can sense rising up to forefront of their sockets.
Of course, this is #missionsFriday, so what does this have to do with faith in God, the message of Jesus Christ and prayer? Everything. For you will remember, because of the evil intent of man and the sovereign hand of God, the life of a child, seemingly taken way too early for the greatness they were destined for. Albeit a moment in time, now 2000+ years in the past.
The Son of God; who happened to be the son of Joseph & Mary. Left this earth for His rightful place in Heaven at the young age of 33. A ministry of redemption, still fresh and ready for epic results, just 3 years in the making. Sure, God fulfilled exactly what He needed to in those short three years, but your finite minds can’t help but wonder, what would have happened, had Christ had another 3 years. Or 33 years. For all we know, why couldn’t He be immortal… for every generation, showing man that He was the only way to be restored to right relationship with God. Okay, the last scenario contradicts the whole plan of salvation and theology on a number of levels, but still… could Christ have “used” 3 more years? Even 3 more months? When you feel as though something or someone has been ripped away, even 3 more days or 3 more hours seems a reasonable request. Don’t think for a moment, Jesus’ mother, Mary, standing at His feet didn’t share this sentiment.
That said… Christ got done what needed to be done; in His three years of ministry. In His 33 years on this earth. It was sufficient, for God and His Sovereignty; knowing His plans and purposes for man to be redeemed would be fulfilled. Through lives, changed by the person of Jesus Christ. By men and women whose being brought into right standing with God would compel them to share and help bring others to the same crossroad. The mission of Christ was passed on to his disciples and the trend; the sovereign plan of God, continues in like fashion… even in the face of such tragedy as the loss of a child, sibling, friend. Welcome to #missionsFriday.
In light of this, pray, on this solemn #missionsFriday; for the will and plan of all-sovereign God to be accomplished in the hearts and lives of humanity. For the things we don’t understand and can’t comprehend, may their be a peace and a rest; beyond human understanding, that God is with us and for us and has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Pray for those, yet to come to the place where they recognized their need for redemption through the person of Jesus Christ and be brought back into right relationship with Creator, God. Pray, also… for this family, and many more like them, to experience the loss of a family member and friend, who on this side of eternity seems to be gone way too early. Pray for the comfort of the Holy Spirit, for even when death is expected and seems looming, the passing is still a blow to the heart, confusion to the mind and disruptive to life itself. Pray, that such moments would indeed cause people to draw closer to God, despite our understanding; to seek His face and trust Him anew and afresh… His ways. Not ours. His thoughts. Not ours. His plans. Not ours. For everything about Him is greater, more glorious, more righteous… more holy than man can ask or imagine.
His loss was our gain.
Our loss for His glory.
For the cause of Jesus Christ.