I sat in the church foyer waiting for class to start when my phone buzzed with an incoming text.
“Justin’s mom Sandy just called. Trevor was in an accident. Tractor trailer flipped and hit his truck while he was working on a road with his crew. She does not know anything except that there were 3 fatalities. Please pray.”
I was immediately praying, and saddened when this followed:
“He died. We are so broken. Heading to lead worship now.”
This beautiful couple, Justin and Bekah, just lost his brother. The news is fresh in their minds and hearts. They could have asked someone else to lead worship at their church. People would have understood. But, in the middle of the pain of loss, these two beautiful people came before their Dad with thanksgiving and worship. To witness their love of God in that moment continues to blow my mind today.
Since that night, I have watched as these two incredible people model Jesus in ways I have never seen.
As I write this they are making their way from Texas to Lebanon, Virginia. Regular Facebook updates keep all of their friends and family close as they make this journey. My heart is breaking for them.
peace that passes
No one wants to lose a loved one. No one wants to pick up the phone and have their world rocked by this kind of news. No one wants the brokenness death can bring.
When Lazarus died, Mary and Martha mourned. Jesus mourned with them. It is one of my favorite moments in the Bible. When Jesus, knowing that the Life on the inside of Him was about to bring back to life someone He loved, took the time to mourn with the ones He loved anyway. Every tear that fell did so because of love.
My prayer for this family is that God, whose love is amazing, give them peace that surpasses anything they have ever known. As they hug each other, find one another’s hand across the armrest, as they greet their grieving mom and other family, my prayer is that love resound like a gong. I pray that though they mourn, the life on the inside of them sustain them and revive them.
the questions with no answers
Why did a vital, beautiful man of thirty, die on Wednesday? Why did a young woman lose her love? Why did a brother lose his life-long friend? These are all questions with no answers. They make the pain and loss of death hard to bear. Mourning is made more difficult when our brains cannot process the how, when. why of it all.
But, in the midst of it all, there is a peace. I have seen it. I have experienced it. I am witnessing it in my friends even now. God’s love overflows. Jesus wept because of his love for Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. He wept even though He knew resurrection was coming. He wept even though He knew life does not end in Him. He wept because He loves.
We may never get answers this side of heaven. But we can gain peace. We can gain more love. We can grow through the pain.
When Jesus read from the Torah in Nazareth, He read from the prophet Isaiah.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
I have seen Jesus working in Bekah and Justin during this horrible time. I have witnessed Jesus comforting them, loving them, making this seemingly ugly part of their story beautiful. I have watched them worship, and have heard them praise. They are like great oaks, planted by still and deep waters. They flourish even through the storm.
They do not do this on their own. They would be the first to tell you that. Jesus. He is the one that brings peace. He is the one that brings the comfort. He is the One they are rooted in.
Please join me in praying for this beautiful family in this time of loss.
Please, write you prayers and thoughts below.