Read the End of the Book

I am preparing for a Memorial Service I did not expect to attend. The person who is being remembered is younger than I am. If I let my natural mind calculate, then she died too early.

I also need to process the trajectory of her story. The earlier pages record a woman who loved and served Jesus. But, for many years now, physical and mental pain has shadowed this earlier experience.

This is not the testimony that we are comfortable presenting.

We want to be able to produce concrete examples of seeing the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

The story of this life leaves us with more questions than answers.

But to Whom do we take our questions?

Why do we scramble for answers?

How do we explain to her children that our faith has not wavered even though, in this story, God has planted His footprints in the sea and rode upon the storm?

How do we acknowledge that our behaviors have consequences without picking up a stone?

Does God need to be defended or is he asking to be trusted?

I remember a day when the husband of the woman, for whom this service is being held, was a leader in preschool ministry with me. This memory is vivid.

We were a group of children’s ministry leaders analyzing the need for preschool Sunday School teachers and finding that we were tragically short. The mood of the group was somber.

The husband of the lady who will be memorialized tonight stood up and with two words reoriented us all:

Read the end of the book: JESUS WINS!!!!

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