Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Tragedy struck our family recently when my sister's oldest daughter died in an automobile accident. She was a brilliant and beautifull young women, salututarian of her highschool class and straight "A" student at Wheaton College, she had just graduated from Wheaton in May. She could have gone to any University or College in the country and chose Wheaton. She roomed with my middle daughter this past year and I got to know her better than I had known her in the past. Wheaton is the Alma Mater of Billy Graham, Jim and Elisabeth Elliot and others with names very familar in Evangelical circles. I used to think of it as the Harvard of Evangelicalism but I now know it is more like the Armed Service Academies or the Citadel. Wheaton produces Warriors for our Lord Jesus and his Kingdom. My Niece had become such a Warrior. She had done short term mission work abroad and in the inner Cities of New York and Chicago. She was driving to Chicago to start a job with a Christian agency working with children when the accident occurred. A description of My Niece would not be complete without telling you she was an acomplished floutist another tool which she used on her Lord's behalf.From an earthly point of view , my point of view, her death makes no sense but I trust Jesus that he knows better, He had good reason to call her home. Maybe he needed a Warrior for a special assignment, I don't know but I do trust Him. We will see her again so the loss is short term particularly in terms of eternity but the loss for that term is deep and the pain is intense for her family and friends. It was that loss that lead me to Job and through Job the Lord gave me some insight on how to grieve. I share those with you below:I was reading Job looking for understanding regarding My Niece's death. This passage gave me guidance on mourning the death of our children. First he mourned tearing his cloths etc. we should feel free to weep. Then Job worshiped. This is an amazing statement Job was worshiping God in his grief. In worshipping God Job said “God gave” We should celebrate her life. In worshipping God Job said “God takes away”, this is a lot tougher we need acknowledge Gods sovereignty over a situation we find abhorrent.(in Jobs case we know the main actor taking his kids life was Satan). We might find ourselves furious with God and need to tell him as we worship him. In the end we must be able to say with Job “blessed is the name of the Lord”.Job 1:18-22 While he was still speaking, there came also another, and said, "Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house, (19) and, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young men, and they are dead. I alone have escaped to tell you." (20) Then Job arose, and tore his robe, and shaved his head, and fell down on the ground, and worshiped. (21) He said, "Naked I came out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. Yahweh gave, and Yahweh has taken away. Blessed be the name of Yahweh." (22) In all this, Job did not sin, nor charge God with wrongdoing.