As Christians, it’s easy to make a big production of being perfect before we come to the throne of God. It’s easy to feel like we need to be worth of God’s grace and blessings. It’s easy to put on the right clothes and a smile before going to church instead of addressing what’s really going on.
But the throne of God is there for the imperfect, for the lost, for the hurting and broken. We don’t have to do anything to come before Him.
The same God who loves us in our high moments loves us in our low moments.
This is what kept me going today. This is the promise I held on to. This is what I repeated in my mind when I heard of the sudden death of a dear old friend.
It still doesn’t feel real and I am in shock. I’m sure I will grieve more as the week draws on, but for now, in between waves of some tears, I am in a place of peace. These are the things I want to remember.
I thanked God that my boys were with me, alive, well, healthy. Only hours later, I learned that a mother lost her beautiful 25 year old son. A family I knew lost one of their own.
There was always a special spot in my heart for this old friend. We grew up in the same church but I think we only became friend as late teens, but he spent many Sunday afternoons at our (my parents’) house for family dinners. Over time, I stopped seeing him as much but I always tried to be encouraging to him, whether by text or in person when I did see him. I saw him a handful of times in the past year and was always excited to hear about his life and how he was doing. He was a young man with a wide smile and contagious laugh who was trying to find his place in this world.
He had his ups and downs in life. I had seen him more in the “up” parts, but the downs became obvious around the time of my wedding. He made mistakes in his life, and one of those mistakes cost him his life.
But my God is the God of highs and lows. His grace isn’t reserved for those who are always righteous. His grace reaches down to the depths of the earth, to the lowest points.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38-39 ESV
I do not know what happened in his final hour. I believe that’s something that his loved ones can only guess about. But I do believe that he is free today. That he is living out his eternal life, away from this broken world and any battles he has faced.
We who are left behind are in pain. We feel that someone was taken from us too soon. He was loved by many and is therefore missed by many. I cannot imagine the pain that his family is in in this season. I pray for rest for them and that, with rest will come peace and comfort. I pray that they will one day be filled with the hope that they will see their son/brother/father again in a place where there are no more tears.
Rest well, friend. You’re home, you’re free. You’re in your Savior’s arms now. 💙