If I were to rank yesterday on a scale of 1 to 10, I don’t think it would even reach the scale to be measured. To say the news we got yesterday was not good would be an understatement.
Within a matter of about three minutes, I received bad news about three people close to us.
We received news of a friend of ours being shot to death in his home country in Central America.
My Aunt who has been battling lung cancer for a couple of years has a new infection in her body – this coming just after she got rid of the pneumonia that she had for a month and a half.
And I still haven’t had the heart to tell Sharon that I received news that one of our good friends found out he has bone cancer.
With regard to my aunt and our other friend with cancer, even though situations like this are never easy, I can understand that over time the body breaks down and things like this happen. This doesn’t make me feel any better about the situation but at least you can rationalize it. There is something you can do about it. There are medical treatments that give you a chance. You still have some time.
But what about a guy in his late forties minding his own business, happy to be back home to visit his family, getting shot to death the day he arrives. The suddenness of it is shocking.
I didn’t know Melvin long. Sharon knew him much longer than I did. But he was the type of man that would do anything for you. He was always happy and his laugh was infectious. He was just one of the nicest guys you would want to meet and I can tell what kind of man he was from meeting his son. His son is one of the most respectful, hard working young men I know – a trait instilled by good parents.
Why would God take Melvin now?
We will never understand the way God works. The only solace is that this must all be part of God’s plan.
God takes people when it is their time to go.
We are sad when we know we will never see our friends again. Even though it is difficult to do, we should be happy for these people since they will be now spending the rest of their time with God.
But how do we get over our sadness?
Matthew 5:4 tells us: Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew is telling us that it is we, the people that live and mourn, that need to be and will be comforted. Why is it that we should be comforted just by Matthew’s words? Our faith in God and the fact that this is his plan is the main reason. But this is based on faith. Is there anything other than just having faith in Matthew’s words that provides comfort?
Our true comfort comes from Luke who recounts Jesus’ words to the man who was being crucified next to him.
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." Luke 42-43
This is the true source of our comfort: knowing that upon our death we will be with God in paradise.
Melvin, my friend, enjoy your stay with God – we will miss you.