Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone. Lamentations 3:33
We said good-bye to a good friend this past week. Our friend, Ian, struggled for life from the day of his birth; and struggled against death for half of his 15 years.
In dying he did not lose that struggle; in death he won the eternal life earned for him through the work of our Savior.
The body Ian lived in was falling apart and he was tired. His body was no longer a safe place for him to be. Our Heavenly Father came and rescued Ian from the destruction left by illness and treatment. The cancer took his body, but could not take his life. God brought Him home to where he will always be safe; always be happy; always be fulfilled. We cannot deny this joy to our friend Ian.
Ian did not fall asleep. This is a phrase about death that can bring comfort to adults and terror to young children. The image of pain-free sleep may be comforting to us, but I do not believe this metaphor is accurate. Ian is awake, now more than ever. He is completely aware of God’s mercy and grace. He stands in awe on holy ground. We need rest from our sinful days. Ian no longer needs rest.
It was not God’s will for Ian to die. It is not God’s will for any of His children to die. It was His will that we live a perfect life in the perfect world He created for us. Our sin is the cause of our death. Sin is, in no way, a part of God’s will.
God did not take Ian’s life; He gave Ian eternal life and joy. Ian left behind pain, sorrow, and darkness. God brought him to light, and the source of his faith. Ian knows God fully and his earthly life no longer encumbers him.
Thank you, God, for Ian, for heaven, for salvation and for grace.
For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1: 21