Yesterday we spent some time with our nearest and dearest friends, Nate and Dawniel. They just lost their brother-in-law, a local police officer named Justin, while he was on duty. The entire town has quickly rallied to support his widow, Danielle, and their three young sons, all under age 6. We sat with our closest friends, and we talked, and we shared, and we cried. It was gut wrenching. Nate is an officer himself, and he had to deliver the news to his newly widowed sister. She crumpled into his arms as he told her, and then her five-year-old son walked into the room. She grabbed him and told him how much his Mommy and Daddy loved him, but that Daddy would not be home again. Ever.
As I write, my friend Nate is on his way to help his nephew learn to ride his bike, because, before he died, his Dad told him he would do that today. It’s all nearly too much to handle. I can’t say that I understand this one. I don’t know why God took this young man home, leaving a family behind that needed him so dearly. Life is fragile, and sometimes, life doesn’t make sense.
I like having answers. I like knowing what’s going on. I like feeling as if I can figure everything out if I just ponder long enough. But I have a feeling this is one of those moments that may never make sense, at least not in this life. I’d prefer to write about this once it’s over, when I could say I’ve figured it all out. I could give you a reason for such a painful loss. But life and faith are not always that neat and clean. Sometimes faith gets messy.
But in moments like this, when emotions run deep and logic has no bearing, I find that I truly begin to appreciate faith on a much deeper level. It’s the backbone of Christianity. We must BELIEVE, and to believe in a story as crazy as Jesus’ story, faith is not optional. Thomas had the privilege of seeing and touching the risen Savior. We have no such privilege, so we must have faith.
And I do have faith. I have faith that Jesus is the son of God. I believe in the virgin birth. I believe in the resurrection. I believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I believe God created all things. I also believe God’s Word. I believe it is Truth. Some may dub me crazy. Some would call me weak-minded. But if that were true, I’d undoubtedly be losing it in this circumstance. Amazingly, I’m not, and neither are my friends, nor this new widow. Why? Because we all believe. We all have faith. We believe God is in control. We believe He knows exactly what’s going on. We believe He will protect and provide miraculously for this family in the days, months, and years to come. We believe God will prove Himself faithful, because He’s never proven Himself to be anything less.
Some would think us crazy for not being crazy.
They think we should all be losing it today.
But we aren’t.
Because we believe.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
–1 Corinthians 1:18Read the follow up to this post: How Important Are Relationships? a tale of two funerals