Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
I apologise in advance if this doesn’t make any sense, but I am upset. The world lost a great woman today, and two little boys lost their mother. Stupid cancer won it’s battle, and left a widower in it’s wake, and I just want to ask why?
The world keeps spinning and nothing changes. A whole family’s world is torn apart, and the rest of us go about our daily lives, watching TV, deciding what to eat, and wishing our kids would be quiet long enough for us to just think for a minute. It doesn’t seem fair, but life rarely does.
I didn’t know her well. Mostly I knew of her in years gone by, but her story was a comfort to me. When I was going through my own private battles, I drew strength from hearing of her fighting off breast cancer while she was pregnant, and pushing through it while she had two little boys. I prayed through the bad news, praised God in the good news. I drew strength from her strength, and she had no idea.
And today she passed away. She stepped out of her mortal, broken body, and into Jesus arms. And big arms they are, because not only could they receive her, but they have to hold the rest of us who are left behind. They have to hold the little lambs, who will grow up without a mummy, and the husband who is suddenly a single dad. The brother and the sister who have lost a friend. The parents who have lost a daughter. The world who has lost a warrior.
I have been reading other blogs of late, and come across some crazy thinking. Well I think it’s crazy. Apparently some people think that if we allow our kids to suffer disappointment or pain, we are giving them a faulty view of God. They believe that love is only understood by cuddles and comfort. They forget that sometimes love is felt through pain and through tears.
For the last year I have been trying to work out why God lets bad things happen to good people, and you know what? I have no idea. But I do know that God doesn’t expect us to endure the hard things alone. Love is comfort and cuddles, but sometimes comfort and cuddles comes in the midst of adversity; not in place of it.
My friend Garry posted this statement on facebook. ‘Garry with 2 r’s does not mourn like those who have no hope.’ And we don’t because we have hope that death is not the end. It is only a new kind of beginning. Kristy has gone on to a better place, and for those of us who are saved by the blood of Jesus, we will go there too one day.
Hebrews tells us that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Those witnesses are the ones who have gone before; the saints who have already passed though the pearly gates and met our saviour. Now they wait in heaven, cheering us on to good deeds and good works. They encourage us to not be distracted by the temporary things in life, but to chase after the eternal things. ‘Look to Jesus, ‘ they call to us. ‘He started your life and he will be there till the end. He helps you in all things, making your faith beautiful and perfect.’ He didn’t shy away from pain and disappointment. He gladly offered himself on the cross because he saw that it was worth it. He deemed us worth it.
So let us not give up hope.
Tonight there is another witness in heaven. Another wife and mother cheering us on. Reminding us to hold on to faith, and pass it on to our kids. Reminding us that every moment is precious. Her babies may never remember their mother, but she left a legacy that the rest of us can honour; perseverance in the face of adversity. And eternal victory in the face of death.
Thank you Kristy for what you have given us, and for your further encouragement.
And thank you Jesus that you hold us together when the world falls apart.
I will try to live my life worthy of what you have done.