Hope in the Midst of Tragedy

I just returned from a really, really hard trip. We attended the funeral of a dear friend who was killed in a parasailing accident while on vacation with friends. It's been one of those slap-in-the-face circumstances, one that slams home the fact that life is so fragile. It can be over in a minute. A single heartbeat separates us at any given moment from eternity, separates our loved ones from immeasurable pain and devastation in the wake of our departure.

And yet, a departure from one place always means an arrival somewhere else. My friend was a believer, as I am. I know -- know – that she is now experiencing a new, richer life that I can't fathom. Jesus said he went to prepare a place for us, and I believe with every ounce of faith I possess that my friend closed her eyes in this world and opened them an instant later in the true presence of her Savior. The dark glass is gone for her, and she sees clearly.

Yes, life is temporary. But you know what? Pain is also temporary. Loneliness and sorrow are temporary. I hold fast to the promise that He will wipe away every tear. And one day I’ll join hands with my friend and together we’ll dance with pure joy in the presence of our Savior.

"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." (Psalm 16:11, NIV)