Today my heart is a bit heavy as I mourn alongside a couple friends whose father just passed away unexpectedly. I have to be honest and say that it has shaken my world a little bit this past week. Death is such a strange and heavy thing, that no matter how much trust you have in the Lord's goodness, it is still hard to understand and hard to process.
When I say that it shook my world a bit this week, what I mean is that it was a bit difficult not to internalize what was all happening. It was too easy to become fearful, to be worried about the shortness of life, to think about the loved ones in my life and how impossible it is to even think about losing one of them. This is a fear I have struggled with ever since I was little. A month or so ago, I shared about my struggle to work on fear - this ongoing battle to choose joy and trust that there is a God who already won the victory against the evil one.
Arriving at the funeral yesterday, I would not have guessed the overwhelming feeling that would be on my heart when I left the service. Although the room was full of sadness, mourning the loss of a loved one who would no longer be with us- there was a much stronger feeling. Amidst the sadness was a great sense of JOY! Joy in the knowledge that God is greater than death; Joy in the knowledge that the man who will be missed from this earth is in fact in a much better place than we can ever imagine, he is with the Lord! In times such as these, where death brings thoughts of darkness and heaviness- it is SO good to be reminded of the truth that Christ defeated death and the power of evil. THAT was the overwhelming feeling that filled the church yesterday.
Leaving the service I was a bit surprised that I was walking away feeling encouraged and challenged. Encouraged that God truly shows up in heavy moments such as these, just as He promises He will. That He really is a God of love and peace even in the most difficult times. That He is good and will protect me. That there is no moment I will have to endure alone. That He will provide and give me the strength to make it through even the most difficult of times.
And challenged to leave a legacy as strong as the one left by my friend's father.
From the tributes and stories shared by family members and good friends it was evident that he was a man who truly exuded Christ and was all about loving and encouraging those around him. He took every opportunity to share his story of how God transformed his life from one of brokenness into one of love and joy. He was proud to introduce anyone he could to the Lord, the one who redeemed him. He was a man who really deserves the words "well done, good and faithful servant."
I want to leave a legacy like that- where it is more about Him and less about me. My goal on this earth is to love and to encourage others, to share the joy that I have found in the Lord and introduce others to Him so that they too may come to know the One who defeated death. My hope is that today you might be both encouraged and challenged. That you would be encouraged to know that you are loved, and that there is One who will provide for you even in the worst of times. And challenged to get to know Him, and put your trust in a God who deserves it.