Today I will attend the funeral of a young man who is gone too soon. I didn’t know him well. In fact, I haven’t seen him since his wedding day which was over eight years ago, but he was around when my kids were growing up and there’s just something about Those Childhood Friends, whether my own childhood, or that of my kids.
My heart is heavy for all of those who were close to this young man. His parents whose lives are forever changed. His wife and her family have a long road ahead as well, after the funeral and other-world happenings stop, and life resumes to a state of “normalness”. A new normal for them, so soon after the uncertainty of the last twenty plus months.
I will continue to pray for them as they begin to walk the journey without this man who is gone too soon.
Today marks the day the lives of my family changed forever. My younger brother died in a car accident at the age of eighteen, forty-one years ago. Another young man who was gone too soon. It happened the day after our youngest brother’s birthday which I have written about in A Tale Of Two Brothers. These two back-to-back days is a time of celebrating one brother while grieving the loss of another.
I often mention Psalm 139 in my writings. I cling to that chapter in the Bible because it seems so personal, so intimate. It is what I hold on to when life gets broke, and if truth be told, life feels broken often, not just for me and my family, but for many people that I know, and many more that I don’t.
If we are believers of the God who sent His Son to die in our place, and pay the price we could not, then we can’t ignore Psalm 139. When we, as human beings, try to make sense of the senseless, we have no choice but to look at Psalm 139.
When someone is gone too soon, we come face-to-face with the truth that God knew us before we were in our mothers’ wombs, and He knew the number of our days before each of us took our first breath.
Gone too soon is our perception of a person who left this world way earlier than we envisioned, and in ways we would never fathom, so it is hard to reconcile it with Psalm 139.
Gone too soon leaves some people doubting the goodness of God, and all that He says He is.
Gone too soon leaves us with questions unanswered because He is God and we are not.
Gone too soon hurts with a deep, empty pain that leaves us with feelings of insecurity as we face the future.
Gone too soon is hard to grapple with, but in order to live the next day and all the rest, we, as individuals, families and church bodies must wrestle with and journey down the path of questions until we come to the place where we know that God is still God whether we understand what is going on or not.
He is the God of gone too soon.
It’s a hard place, a lonely place surrounded by fellow grievers and those who are lifting us up as we struggle to take another breath or get out of bed the next day.
The God of gone too soon is loving and faithful. He won’t leave these people who morn the loss of this young man for one second as they choose, whether consciously or unconsciously, to do the next steps. And there are always next steps.
This day marks forty-one years for my gone too soon story. Perhaps it marks one for you too? Wherever you find yourself today, or another day that you identify as your gone too soon tale, let this time take you into a deeper relationship with Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God.