Sadness and hope
When I returned from vacation this past weekend I heard some very sad news…
A friend’s 11 year old daughter, Sydney Ives passed away after a 18 month fight with an inoperable brain tumor. http://www.rrstar.com/news/x1972894633/Girl-loses-fight-against-cancer
My fourth grade teacher, Rhonda Kluck, who was later my high school Algebra teacher passed away Sunday after fighting cancer for 7 years. She was only 44. http://www.legacy.com/rrstar/Obituaries.asp?Page=Lifestory&PersonId=136064669
I got a Caring Bridge journal update yesterday containing the news that a friend of mine from Florida is likely facing cancer again. She is only 35. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/victoriahage
Add all of this to what a neighboring pastor is going through with his nine year old daughter, http://matttapley.wordpress.com/ , and I’ve about had it with the enemy reeking havoc in the lives of people I care about.
Jeff started a new series at church this past Sunday called “The End.” , talking about the end of the world and the hope that we have as Christians. He used this passage and I find that I am having to encourage myself with it quite often this past week…
1 Thessalonians 4:12-18 (New Living Translation) ” And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.”
Some days I just want to scream. This world seems so cruel, so unfair.
I yearn for eternity, for no more pain and suffering. I yearn for Jesus.
And the amazing news is that He is with us, right here, right now, whatever we are going through…God says in Isaiah 43:2: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze”.