This week, Christmas week 2012, I learned about the passing of two guys I knew well – John from church and Rob from Helping Up Mission. I’m sure I will see both of them in Heaven, but anytime death gets close makes it a difficult time. And that has only been heightened by national events being what they were, especially around the Christmas holidays.
There were memorial services for both Rob in eastern Maryland and John in Frederick yesterday. I was John’s pastor in the early 1990’s and asked to participate in John’s service. It was called a celebration of his life and really felt that way. Admittedly I got choked up, including while I was speaking – but as an old guy that happens a lot these days.
What I keep hearing from people is the positive impact of both the lives and passing of Rob and John on folks. While I will never pretend to understand or ever agree with God’s timing, I do accept that He knows best. I believe He is using these seeming tragic situations to do some important things in the lives of the rest of us.
I am not suggesting that you have to like the painful experiences and difficulties of life that you go through, but getting a sense of God’s bigger purpose and plan through what has happened is not just an appropriate concept – it is right! And it can be empowering in our lives as we head into the future.
So, as we work through the emotions of events at the end of 2012, let’s embrace the lessons we have been forced to learn. With an eternal perspective, let’s enter 2013 with a sense that God is still in control and will do good and right things in our lives and the lives of those we love.
…The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised (Job 1:21 NIV)
One Day at a Time,
Pastor Gary Byers