I have been trying for almost a month to write today's post, but I never really felt like it was the right time, or that I had the words, or that I even wanted to say anything. But today seems like it is the most fitting day to open up.
On July 5, my brother's best friend and my mom's best friend's son went home to be with Jesus after a fight with pancreatic cancer. (There are a couple of previous posts that you can dig around and find with a little more detail about the Trey's journey.) Today would have been Trey's 16th birthday, and in the town where he grew up, the mayor declared today to be Trey Erwin Day.
Yes, today is a difficult day, in some ways. But I can't help but remember our sweet time of worship at Trey's Celebration (and yes, that's what we call it because that's what it was). There were 2,000 ish people in attendance in our home church, all singing and worshipping the Risen Lord Jesus. You want to talk about awesome- that was it! We had glowsticks, bright colors everywhere and while there were tears, the Joy in the room was so palatable that you couldn't help but recognize the presence of the Spirit. If you would like to view the service, here's the link.
The past month, the Lord has been using Trey's life, battle and celebration as a powerful teaching tool in my life. I will openly admit that I asked the Lord how he could allow His 16 year old child to have such an awful disease- how are You just when this seems so unjust? The Lord quietly and lovingly taught me about his character- God is GOOD and JUST not because of the circumstances that I can observe with my senses and my mind but because it is Who He IS.
You may have heard the following chant: "God is good all the time. All the time God is good." I have said this countless time, meaning every word but not fully understanding the implications of what I was saying. This is an affirmation of God's character. When we talk about God being good, we are making a statement about His character, not merely the circumstances that surround us.
If God's goodness is dependent on the circumstances in our life then he ceases to be all-knowing, all-loving all of the time. Which would contradict Scripture. Seeing as how that isn't possible, there must be more to it. God transcends our circumstances. He is GOOD even when our circumstances are not. He is JUST, even when our circumstances are not.
How does this relate to our daily life? I'm still trying to learn this part of the lesson better, but what I understand so far is that God's character doesn't change and that when I walk through something wonderful, He is there. When I walk through something painful, He is there too. In each situation he is there, and He is holding me, and I never have to walk through anything alone. The situation will still be filled with emotions, but He is there, collecting each tear (Ps 58:6). He is working it all together for His Glory and our Good (James 1 and Romans 8:28).
This is where I've been the past month or so. The Lord is so gracious to me, patiently teaching me how to walk closer with Him. Even though Trey was not my personal friend, he was by brother best friend, the son of my mom's best friend (and my friend too). We grieve for our loss, but we are jealous because Trey is with Jesus, and it doesn't get any better than that.