The Sad News and the Good News

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Julia, she will be missed!

On Sunday as Pastor Fabio was about to start his sermon, he prophesied that there would be sad news from abroad this week.  This morning—Tuesday—it came: Nina’s sister-in-law, Julia, died in hospital in Colombia.  Her husband, Juan, and son, Carlos, were by her side.  Julia had suffered many chronic health problems since a life-threatening car accident more than a dozen years ago.  At that time she had lost so much blood (as it was explained to me) that it must have switched off her pancreas so that, although she recovered from her injuries, from that time on she suffered diabetes.  In the end she had breast cancer that metastasized and spread all over her body.

All of us had prayed continually for Julia and for the whole family.  When Miriam read the sad news aloud to Lino and me, our thoughts were for the family—especially for Carlos who will marry next month.  Ideally his mother should have been in attendance at his wedding.

It’s hard when someone is suffering so much in their physical body, as Julia did, as my dad did, and as Miriam’s mother is currently doing.  You long for a miraculous healing that sometimes you just don’t get for whatever reason.  The alternative is that their suffering ends.  And with that end to suffering there is a feeling of relief.

The three of us wept at the news, but more for Carlos and Juan than for Julia.  For Julia there is the reward of entering into the presence of Jesus at the end of all that terrible suffering.  Yes, Julia knew and loved Jesus, and that is the good news that must triumph over the sad news of her passing.  That is the good news that will make Carlos’ wedding a celebration in spite of his mother’s absence.

Miriam wiped her eyes and observed, “We were given yesterday to enjoy the Pasquetta BBQ.”  God is so generous and good that He did give us our joyous time together, untainted by sad news.

All of us have an appointment with death[1], sooner or later, and we can thank Adam for that.  But Jesus, the second Adam conquered death.  And that is the message of Easter—Resurrection Day.  Even if death wins this battle, it has already lost the war.  And that is the good news that comforts and strengthens us to carry on another day.  God is good!

[1] Except for those of us who are still alive when Jesus comes to Rapture us.

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