Last week, I preached my very first sermon that I crafted from scratch and presented to a congregation of adults. In it, I talked about death, my love for funerals and the life that came from them. In addition, I spoke about how death occurs all around us, not just in a physical sense, but in an emotional and metaphorical sense and that from that we need to find the life that comes as a result.
I might of used Jesus as an example in there as well.
My exact words were this:
Jesus said, “Unless a seed dies, it remains a single seed; but if it dies, it produces many seeds and then much fruit.”
From death comes life.
So often we see death as a horrible thing and it is! The bible calls death an enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26). But the bible also tells us that what satan intends for evil, God intends for good.
Things happen to us and around us everyday that may not be want we wanted or expected; things that upset our well laid plans. The most common, and easy response is to become upset – to whine and complain about how horrible and unfair it is. Is there another way to look at these events? Is there life where we think something has died? Is there a silver lining? Where is the good which God has intended? (my friend Jenn helped me with this part to tie it all together!)
And then? Less than a week later we experience the death of something in our lives that has been a HUGE part of our lives both time wise and financially. Moreover, it affected one of our children on a more personal level. In fact? I’ll go so far as to say a passion of one of our children was murdered.
It definitely wasn’t in our plans. It certainly wasn’t welcome. We were shocked, unprepared, and left with questions that will probably never get answered.
My heart is broken for one of my children.
I wish I could go into more detail, but out of respect for my child and the rest of people involved, I can’t.
But I am hurting deeply for my child.
I’m left trying to answer the questions of “where is the silver lining?” and “what good does God want to come of this?” Not only am I having to answer them for myself, but I find myself needing to assure my child that what I said last week infront of the entire congregation is true:
That good will come of this.
And even tough I know in my heart of hearts that more good than we could ever expect will come of this, it doesn’t make it suck any less.
It doesn’t make holding our heads up, responding as Christ would, any easier.
I’ve been strong for my child (or at least tried to), but I’ve vented something fierce to my closest friends and my husband. (The Great Snot Fest of 2013 happened in the kitchen Saturday night.)
But yesterday, I had to walk into a situation where I knew gossip would be aplenty. I knew that bashing was quite possible.
But I also knew that this was the perfect opportunity to emulate Christ and that if I fell victim to human nature this would all be for naught and the enemy truly would win.
The worst thing I said about the situation is, “I just don’t understand and that’s what makes this so hard.”
Of course, they were sympathetic, grateful even that this didn’t happen to their child, and understanding about why I felt the way I did. But I made it clear that it was just all part of God’s plan.
Because I truly believe that.
But again, that doesn’t make it suck any less.
I’m reminded of one of these pictures that I’ve seen floating about Facebook (when did facebook become pictures of text, by the way?)
Because this is so very true.
An maybe the silver lining, or the good that God wanted to come of this death, was to show a group of people who don’t truly know Christ, what He’s all about.
I don’t know.
What I do know is that what I said last week is true. Good will come of this. One day, we’ll look back at this and say, “I’m so glad that happened because if it hadn’t of _______ would’ve never happened.”
And that’s what I’m clinging to as I try to work through this.
I’m practicing what I preached… literally.
Or at least trying to… to the best of my ability…
Until next time…