Frailty of life has been shown in the past six weeks. First a friend was put in the hospital by a head on car crash. Next, the 24 year old brother of a good friend died in what could be termed a car accident. Then a week later, I found out a family member who has had cancer was given a month to live, and a dear great aunt of mine was having knee replacement.
So much weight. So much darkness.
As I was processing the death of my friends’ brother, Kendall Yoder, bitterness toward God flitted through my mind. It didn’t stay very long, thankfully. Instead, I saw death, life, and this world with new eyes.
Stunned shock swept over me, and then the sad tears flowed when I first read on Facebook that Kendall’s body no longer had the breath of life in it.
Never before had I felt such a hate for sin. The word “suck” was as bad a word as I dared use, just because I’m not into cussing. It’s still stronger than I usually use. To say, “Death sucks” is just fitting, though.
When God had finished creating the world, free from sin and death, He said it was good. Humans were created to live forever. Then, Adam and Eve sinned. Death came with sin. It was not God’s plan, therefore death is not good. The familiar, shortest verse in the Bible, “Jesus wept” came to mind. Jesus didn’t like death. God doesn’t like death.
At the cross Jesus had victory over death. Well, more specifically when He rose from the grave.. But still, by that heroic action death was transformed. For those who have given their lives to Jesus, death has lost its sting. It no longer leads to punishment, but to the very presence of God. This is the very heart of the good news for this fallen world. It’s why Christians were reminded in the new testament that we don’t grieve without hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
If these other points hadn’t wiped away the tinge of bitterness for good from my mind, this one would. God gives good gifts. (James 1:17) Death does not, cannot, come by the hand of God.
All this truth is great. It’s securing. It can keep the bitterness at bay. Knowledge never healed the deep painful wound of loss, though. I’m not sure that the loss of someone you love(d) ever heals completely, and that’s okay. Jesus walks and grieves with us on the journey we were not made to experience.
At the celebration of life for Kendall, his brave wife went up on stage and said a few words. This sentence seems to hold healing, especially in that it came from her:
“God’s sovereignty is not causative, but redemptive.” – Catherine Yoder