A Hope Realized

I’m at that point where words just won’t come.  Yesterday, a good friend of mine was killed in a car accident, at the age of 19.  It still doesn’t feel real.  These things aren’t supposed to happen.  But they do.  And the only question pounding on everyone’s heart and mind is: Why?

I wish I could answer that.  Not for me, but for her family and loved ones.  I don’t know why.  No one does.  Going to class today just didn’t feel right.  Practicing lines for drama doesn’t feel right.  It’s as if nothing else matters right now.  Life is so precious, and yet I can take it for granted every day.

One of the verses behind this blog, Philippians 4:7, says “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  I blog about the peace of God through Christ all the time, and yet, on days like this, that peace can seem so elusive.

The memories I have are those of her smiling, laughing, and singing.  I know she’s in a better place, but it doesn’t take away the pain of those who are still here.  As I look back on the last year or so I’ve known her, it still hasn’t hit me that she’s gone.  It is truly painful to write at this point.

But we do have hope.  She had hope.  And that hope is now realized for her.

Romans 8:18–“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Romans 8:38-39–“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Philippians 1:21–“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

The greatest comfort I know in this tragedy is that she loved the Lord.  In everything she did, she praised the wonderful love of Christ Jesus.  And I take comfort knowing that this day, she is in the presence of her Savior, and of her Heavenly Father.

Nothing can take away what happened Sunday afternoon.  But nothing can take away the promise, given by God Himself, that she is in glory, and that she is rejoicing with Jesus today.

Throughout all the pain, the tears, the heartache, God is still God.  We may not take joy in anything else right now, but know that God is still God.  There will be a day where death is no more, where every tear is wiped away, but for now, we press on, making known the blessings of knowing God, and giving praise to Him in all that we do.  That’s what she did.  My prayer for these next few weeks and months is that God would continue to receive all the glory He is due, and that, in remembering our friend, we honor the Savior she loved so deeply.  That will honor her memory.  That, if nothing else, may help to bring peace.

1 Corinthians 15:51-57–“Behold! I tell you a mystery.  We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’

‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

My words may not be much consolation to those who knew my friend.  But maybe the word of God is.  God has given us the victory through Jesus.  Death has no power over the believer in Jesus.  We are set free from sin and death through our Lord and Savior.

This sweet girl is alive in Jesus.  We miss you.  We long to see you again.  And we will.  One day, we will meet again in glory, when we bow before the throne and worship, once again as brothers and sisters in Christ.  And on that day, there will be nothing that stops you from singing your beautiful song to the Lord.  On that day, every pain and every tear will be gone, and we will together praise the goodness of our God for all eternity.  Rest in peace, my friend.

God bless,

Neal E

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