Grief And Loss
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11: 25-26
Seems I am in the middle of a difficult season for me. This past week two dear friends of mine died and they were both only 58 years old. I have no doubt that both of them are with Jesus now. I grieve deeply, but not as those without hope.
Tommy O and I met at Jesus People USA in Chicago 14 years ago. I also shared his campsite at the Cornerstone Festival for the past 13 years. Tommy was a brilliant musician. He could play anything with strings. Tommy was humble and wise and he could say more in one sentence than most could in a whole page. He loved Jesus, his wife, son and friends. Tommy served Jesus and the church for many years. And oh how Tommy could make the best deep fried turkey one could ever eat. He died quietly in his sleep from inoperable bowel cancer. Right now all I know is that I miss my friend.
Paul W. and I served together the last 10 years in our communities ministerial association. He was the associate pastor at the Sturgis missionary church. He was a very gifted administrator and he helped organize many big projects, that brought together many of our communities local fellowships, like Thanksgiving meals for the needy and corporate unity services. Paul was always very supportive of me in my struggles with PTSD. Paul also recognized the value of relational fellowship and was always eager to hear about what our housechurches were all about. His smile could light up a room as he talked about Jesus. Paul leaves behind a wife and three grown children. I am glad to say that he was my friend. He will surely be missed in our community. The reason for his death… complications from the flu.
Friends play an important role in our lives. We all need love, support and accountability. True friends provide all three. ”Iron sharpening iron” happens most often in true friendships. I do not require that my friends agree with me concerning every issue. Paul and I definitely did not share the same theology where it comes to the church, but we were still friends due to our mutual attachment in Christ. I recognize my need for sisters and brothers in my life. I desire friendship and I thank Jesus for everyone that He has places in my life.
58 is much too young to die. In 7 years I will be 58. I do not fear death, but recent events have made me think about my own mortality. At this age any regrets that I may have had are now washed away by the blood of Jesus. I now face life head on. Please pray for those who are grieving today?
Love and ……
Kirk Out !