Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
First off, I’m sorry. In my haste to get out the news about Lee’s death yesterday, and in my own mourning over that news of my brother-in-Christ and friend, I was terse and cold in my announcement. Please forgive me for thinking more about myself than of you.
Today, as I’ve had some more time to process the news, and as I’ve received responses from some of you about your own mourning of Lee, I wanted to share some thoughts based on Psalm 121:7-8, which reads:
“The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”
When we read a passage like that in a time like this, amidst grief and loss, we tend to think things like, “Where were you, Lord, in keeping Lee from the evil of the Coronavirus? Why didn’t you keep his life like you promise to here?” These questions are natural for us and so are the doubts about God that come with them. This doubt, for some, even leads to despair. But let me offer another look at it.
The Lord has not failed in keeping Lee from evil, nor has He failed in keeping Lee’s life. Lee suffered in the end, and he had been suffering for quite some time, long before this Coronavirus came along. And all this time, the Lord was keeping him. Ever since his baptism, when he first went out from under the wrath of God and was claimed as the Lord’s own, all the way until he went into eternal glory just yesterday, the Lord has kept him. He kept him from the evil of unbelief. He kept him from losing the eternal life that was promised to him in Baptism, maintained throughout his life of faith, and granted yesterday. Lee is now at rest because he has been kept by the Lord. It’s true that Lee suffered temporal evil and temporal death, but the Lord never failed him, because the promise that comes in faith is for eternal good and eternal life.
And that Word is true for you as well, dear Christian. No suffering, no evil, and not even death will keep you away from the eternal innocence and blessedness that is yours in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Please be praying for…
- Sandra, for her grieving of her beloved, Lee, as well as for a full and quick recovery from the Coronavirus. Along with her, please include Clayton & Silvia (who also both have the Coronavirus), Jennifer & Rod, as well as Kelly.
- And for these also who are currently suffering from the Coronavirus:
- Loren & Shirley
- Jason, Michelle, and Logan
- Don & Ryan Tvrdy
If I’ve left anyone out, please tell me so that I can add them here.