Revelation 21:4 God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (NIV)

My best friend in ministry – Judd Shaw – was killed in a car accident this week. I was totally shocked when I heard this tragic news and couldn’t stop weeping. He was one of the best ministers I have ever known and he had a great gift of positively encouraging everyone that he encountered. I always enjoyed his company whether at Presbytery, at church, online or at ball games. One of my fondest memories of Judd was at a Lady Vols game when we were graciously given tickets to sit at court level. He was absolutely thrilled to be there and loved being so close to the players. In my mind, I still picture him laughing and smiling all the way through the game.

I must admit, I was angry with God when I heard the news. I kept wailing at God asking, “Why did this happen to such a good person? Why him and not me?” It just felt so unfair and it broke my heart. The same thing happened thirty years ago when my best friend in Scotland died in a car crash. I couldn’t understand it then and don’t understand it now. The pain of tragic loss is so unbearable at times, more so, I think, for folks with faith.

In the end, I rely on God’s promises, even when things are so raw. God tells us that one day death will be no more and that He will wipe away all tears from our eyes which I take to mean that all the hurt I feel today will be gone in eternity.

Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one recently or have never gotten over the death of someone close to you, even though it may have occurred years ago. I hope that one day your hurt will be healed and that love will return to your heart. This is what I hold on to from God.

Prayer: Father God, life is hard especially when we suddenly lose people that we love. The hurt is so painful and our loss is difficult to bear. Please be with us when we are overwhelmed with grief and deeply wounded because we have loved deeply. May Your comfort sustain us and Your promises give us hope. In Christ’s Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s Celtic Cross drawings. If you would like to view a larger version, click on this link: Cross.