Dan would have been 59 today. April will mark the eighth anniversary of his passing. It seems like yesterday. A year earlier he was complaining to me about low back pain on his right side. In July of 2005 we found he had a cancer that had affected his kidney and he lost the right kidney. Something told me this was not over and the diagnosis confirmed it. The cancer had moved into the bone marrow, Stage 4. I was simply a matter of time. Why would God do this to our family? Dan was the baby and here he is the first to enter eternity.
I know death of a loved one is a difficult subject for some to discuss, but I also know that bringing pain into the open among Christian friend is a great healer. There is one scripture I claim above all others when what I believe are bad things. In the 28th verse of Chapter 8 of Paul’s letter to the Church in Rome, The Apostle wrote, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
“What good can come out of that?”
The best answer I can give is, “I don’t know, but God knows and that's what matters.”
As I looked back at my little brother’s life I realized that during those final 9 months, he had changed. He was studying scripture and asking questions. He had never done that before. He was seeking God and he found Him. I had the honor of participating in his funeral. It blessed me to say that I knew where he is. He is with our LORD. The night before He was sent from his hospital room to ICU, He looked at me and said, “I think I’m dying.”
As I choked back the emotion welling up, I asked Dan if he was ready to meet God. He assured me he was. That was all I needed. I’ll never forget what the other minister at his funeral said at graveside. He told us that only two people know if a person is ready to meet God, God and that person. Dan knew, and I’ve come to realize that his illness and death have led at lest two people toward a closer walk with Him.
There are times we may never know why God lets things happen, He simply says, “Trust Me.” When we do we will find abundant blessings. I keep trusting Him. And when a loved one is called home, I know one thing.
We’ll meet again, I surely know where, I just don’t know when. But I know we’ll meet on a sunny day.
Sunny because the light of Jesus permeates all the darkness.