Today I went to the funeral of a dear friend whose life was ended at such a young age. A lovely man who went to be with the Lord, and whose pain was finally taken away.
Yesterday I was involved in a car crash, which was not serious, but really could have been fatal had their been traffic coming in the other direction. My companion and myself survived the collision, but the impact of the crash, and what could have been, lingers in the mind.
And tonight I watched the film about Beatrix Potter with my friends, and we see the tragic scenes unfold when her fiancée dies of an illness.
It reminded me of how I lost the girl I loved to illness, and the pain of the phone call when I realised I would not see her again. The pain Beatrix felt is one I have known for many years, and one that many people carry.
It seems God is reminding me this week, in three recent events, of the fragility of life. That we cannot know what will unfold one day to the next.
The Bible tells us that for those of us in the Faith, death holds no sting. And the meaning is true – we have a Messiah that conquered death. And that brings hope. But the reality is that death does still sting in this life. It’s painful. It’s heartbreaking.
But we can find comfort in these truths:
1) God is sovereign. He is in charge, and He is just. Life is His gift to us and we should be thankful for every day we receive and use it to glorify His name.
2) Life is short. Know your Creator before you meet your Creator. Don’t be distracted by the folly of atheism and grab hold of the Father of life, who loves you with an everlasting love.
3) Tomorrow is good Friday. How can we understand suffering? We can’t. But we can rest in the knowledge that God himself understands our pain, because He didn’t just look at suffering in this world from afar, but came into the world 2,000 years ago and suffered with us. Jesus, God incarnate, nailed to that cross, willingly suffered for us. So that we could be free from sin, given new life today and a hope for the future.