11 March, 2015

Grief, yet we trust

It's been several days since I could get to writing here. It's ironic that lately it's the times that give me most to write about that keep me from writing here (eg. away at a church camp with no internet). 

The long weekend away has 
This is where we last saw our colleague, at our national
conference in Japan in 2013. I well remember talking
with his wife about their young daughter, whom they
had adopted after many years of not being able to
have children.
given me much to write about. But because I try to keep it to one main idea per post, I'm going to have to limit myself today to grief.

Last week we heard that a beloved colleague of our in Japan died from cancer, the third in about eight years we've lost. Another colleague wrote this (from here):

The OMF Japan family is grieving. The Lord called home a respected, godly, much loved co-worker in the early hours of this morning. He leaves behind his wife and 3-year-old daughter, and a legacy of faithfulness that has changed many lives. I wish you could know him. I wish I had known him longer. As believers in Jesus, we can look forward to seeing our dear brother again in glory.
Not 24 hours later we heard that David's cousin, who'd also been struggling with an aggressive cancer, had passed away. Both left behind spouses and a young child or children.

Neither were geographically close enough for us to help in any way or attend the funerals. 

So, once again we're grieving at a distance. Groaning with creation in the imperfections of this world. But at the same time looking forward to heaven where there will be no grief.
"‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”” (Revelations 21:4, 5a, NIV).
Then, today's date is also significant. It is the day that more than 18,000 people lost their lives in Japan four years ago. The day of the 9.0 earthquake, the giant tsunami, and the start of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima.

The wife of our colleague in Japan prayed this at the hospital last week: 
“Lord, I still have many questions. There are things that I do not understand. But I choose to trust and believe in you...”
I agree. I have questions, but I choose to trust and believe.

I believe in a God about whom this is written:
"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 3:31-33, NIV).
So, though I don't understand. I trust in the only one I know who has unfailing love. I pray that I, as well as those much closer to the ones who died, would: 
"... have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:18-19, NIV).


Anonymous said...

“Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.” (Augustine)

Wendy said...

That's profound Rachel, and we're seeing it lived out in this widow's life.