The Mind of the Pastor

While away at the conference in Washington, I got word that my good friend from junior high and high school was very near death.  We had been very close during those school years but hadn’t seen one another in years.  Earlier this spring I had run into his brother at a funeral.  He told me about Danny’s cancer.  I was able to go see him and have a good visit with him.  Later his brother came to see me and asked me to do Danny’s funeral.  I was saddened but agreed that when the time came, I would do so.  On Sunday evening, our last night at the conference, I received word of Homer Barnes’ death.  Arriving home, I went to work on Homer’s service and visiting with the family.  On Wednesday, I was able to go see Danny.  I knew as I drove away, it was likely the last time I would see him this side of glory.  I left on Friday for a few days of vacation.  While away, I called to check on Danny.  He has defied everyone’s expectation and is still holding on.  I learned on the last day of vacation, that another school friend passed over the weekend.  I will attend his service on Thursday.

Death has been on my mind a lot lately.  I looked on my computer, they’re not all there, but there are some 270 funeral files representing the lives of people I love.  Death is an enemy.  It is unwelcome, unwanted and rightfully despised.  Death always brings sorrow and pain.  When you love someone and they are taken from you, it hurts.  The greater the love, the greater the pain.  Yet, we are not left to face it alone.  We are not left to sort it out the best we can.  We have the promise of God that He will never leave us or forsake us but that He will be with us always to the end of the age.  Our Lord says to us, in the face of such heartache, “Let not your heart be troubled.”  The word “troubled,” means disturbed, agitated or distressed.  That seems an impossible thing to ask.  But our Lord isn’t asking, He is commanding!  But He did not stop with the command, He went on to give the means by which we overcome our trouble.  “Believe in God; believe also in me.”  Trust God and trust me.  Our peace comes from trusting in Christ.  To rest in His promises.  We find peace by remembering His power to calm the seas, heal the lame and yes, raise the dead.  We find hope by remembering that He has gone to prepare a place for us and He will come again to take us to be with Him.  Our separation is but for the moment.  There is coming a great reunion with no more separation, no mourning, crying or pain.  It is no accident that the Church has, through the ages, sang about Heaven.  That is our hope.  Therein is our peace.

As I grow older, more and more of those I love are on the other side.  Thus I find myself, fairly regularly saying, “Even so, come Lord Jesus!”

Have a blessed week!