Today my Uncle Brad died. It was sudden and unexpected. My dad called me and said he had bad news and I had no idea what he was going to say. He said, "Your Uncle Brad died today". My mind was in shock. I had questions. I didn't know how to feel. What was happening?
I don't know the answer to many of my questions. I've felt several emotions today and I'm not sure which ones I want to feel. I mean, it just happened.
But God sure was in control today. I got the call as I was supposed to be starting to run sound for a practice of our church's Easter passion production. I decided to stay and go on with practice while I cried and thought. The theme of this year's production is "Hope". While watching the practice and the scenes, I was reminded of the hope we have in Jesus' death and resurrection.
Following this practice I was supposed to have a Bible study. I thought about not going to it, but the passage was exactly what I needed. Read 2 Corinthians chapter 1 to see what I'm talking about. But here's a snippet of what bolstered me while reading this chapter.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Wow! God had my day planned. He reminded me of His comfort and the hope that is mine because of Jesus. God has many promises for us and: "... no matter how many promises God has made, they are 'Yes' in Christ." 2 Corinthians 1:20
Now let me tell you about my Uncle Brad.
He was the life of the party. I didn't get to see him as often as I would have liked, but I saw him nearly every Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday because of that. Brad was funny. He made everyone laugh and smile. My grandparents are usually in a good mood, but when Brad was there they were always looking for the next reason to laugh. And if you could make Brad laugh you felt like you were really funny. The house would always get really loud on Thanksgiving, because people were always shouting toward Brad their funny idea or joke to get his laugh of approval.
I'll miss that.
When relatives come there is usually a bit of friction that comes with them, but not with Uncle Brad. He brought joy and unity to our family when he came. Everyone had a good time when Uncle Brad was in the house. This Thanksgiving will hurt without him there at the table.
Let me tell you something else about my Uncle Brad. He put his faith and hope in Jesus. He was not perfect by any means, but I know he's in heaven today because of his trust in God. My Uncle Brad is in heaven because of what Jesus did on the cross. Uncle Brad's hope was in Jesus and today he is with Jesus in paradise.
I'm sad today at the death of my uncle. But I take great comfort in the fact that my God is the Father and creator of the very idea of compassion and comfort. I'm going to trust in God to provide comfort for me and my family. I'm also going to cling to the promises of God as a source of comfort.
Please pray for my family. And if you don't know Jesus like my Uncle Brad did (and does infinitely better today than yesterday), if you don't know that you'd go to heaven if you died unexpectedly today, I beg you to call out to Jesus right now. I urge you to have what my Uncle Brad had. I encourage you to ask Jesus to be your Lord, Savior, and Living Hope today.