I stepped out of my car at the funeral home last week and felt the tears threatening before I even got to the door.
Another death this year. Another life cut short.
First, my seventeen year old cousin in a car accident. Creative, sensitive, an animal lover and a gardener. Leaving a hole in his family that can never be filled.
Then, a twenty-six year old prospective roommate and a co-worker of my brother's. Beautiful, vibrant, shining with love for Christ, and a kindred spirit. Her simple cough turned out to be widespread lung cancer.
Now, the dad of three dear friends. Battling esophageal cancer for a year. Praying the night he died, one of his daughters at his side.
As I talked with his daughter E. at the funeral home, she inspired me with her trust in the Lord during this time. She shared with me little details of how God is providing for them even now. How their faith is giving them comfort and strength.
I'm learning that some things in life have no earthly answer for why they happen. We live in a fallen world.
But rather than turning to despair from the lack of answers, there's a different path.
Hope that there is One who is in control. Who sees the bigger picture. Who weeps with us and pulls us closer to Him if we let Him. Who asks us to trust that He will bring good from pain.
And there's the hope of more. Of more than this life only.
There's "the hope of heaven."
I love that phrase.
It reminds me to look up, to look beyond, in faith. To remember that this life is temporary, but an eternity awaits with an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God. Where heartache and loss and tears are only a memory.