As a pastor I’ve done my share of funerals.
They’re never fun.
People are hurting and are searching for answers.
Answers I wish I had, but rarely do.
This week I’m preparing to lead the memorial service of a close friend’s stepdad.
He died unexpectedly after 42 years here on earth.
Repeated heart surgeries were performed, but ultimately his body gave way.
As you can imagine the family is hurting and doing their best to comfort one another.
I’ve done my best to coach my friend through this horrible time. I’ve tried to comfort him with encouraging words. Tried to cheer him up in various ways, but the truth is I simply can’t relate to the pain he’s feeling.
I’ve never had someone really close to me pass away like he has.
After meeting with his family and planning the memorial service I’m struck by how strong his family is and how they’ve rallied together through tragedy.
I can’t help but personalize all this.
Acting strong for my friend and his family makes me feel like a bit of a fraud.
I have an infant son facing an impending open-heart surgery. How would I handle losing him? Am I willing to trust God the way this family is?
I hope so.
Until then I keep asking God for help.
Help me trust you. Help me bring comfort to others. Help me know you’re with me all the way.
All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy!
He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.
(2 Corinthians 1.3-5, The Message)