Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
1Thess. 4:13-14

Last night I was privileged to be a part of a special time of remembrance and praise for the life and death of an extraordinary young man. To our minds, he was taken far too soon. But truly, "precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."

I don’t intend this post to be a tribute to life of this man. Although his life is truly worthy of tribute and remembrance, others have and will do so far more eloquently than I.

Instead I want to comment on the blessing that it is for the saints to come together in times of sorrow. It was a glorious thing to see these young men, tears streaming down their faces, praise our savior for His goodness. What an important gift we give our children when they see weeping with hope. Sorrow with praise. Devastating loss coupled with trust and joy unspeakable.

When we sang "It is Well With My Soul," it was maybe the most beautiful, glorious thing I have ever heard. The power and emotion in that song vibrated the very cup in my hand. Music is a gift to us from our creator, and we are told to praise Him with it. It is always a glorious thing to hear and join in the lifting up our voices to our mighty God. But it is even more glorious when we are with those who have purposed to train their voices to the glory of God. It convicted me that since we are told to praise our God in song; we ought to endeavor to make that song as beautiful as we can. The musical training of my children took on a whole new dimension. We have always stressed that music was to glorify God, but my understanding is fuller and richer now.

Last night was such an encouragement to continue to run the race that is set before me. To finish well. To walk alongside my children; discipling them, praying for them, training them up to be mighty defenders of the faith. Every moment is precious; life is truly but a vapor.

By the grace of God I pray that I will not waste it. That my children will not waste it. That their youth will not be spent in foolish pursuits, but that they will be about their Fathers business all the days of the lives. This young man was not granted many days on this earth. But those days were lived to the fullest; he was about the things of men. His fervent desire was to know his Lord and to serve Him. We need not weep for him; we weep only for ourselves. What a tremendous gift, there is nothing more I want for my children.
updated 10:34 pm to add links to tributes