Growing up, my childhood never had any encounters with grief at a significant level. Though I would hear about old family members who I had little knowledge of passing away, I would never know what that grief felt like. That would change this year.
On November 1st my grandfather took his own life in a decades long fight with addiction and substance abuse. I never knew how to navigate this pathway of grief that I was embarking on but I knew a few things at a young age that I think many people older than me had failed to gain an understanding of prior to this happening. Those things that I understood are rooted in scripture.
A Time For Everything.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens
a time to be born and a time to die.
Driving through the early night after a long day of work after having received the news of this happening, Lindsay, my wife who went with me, and I stopped at a Taco Bell parking lot after hearing the news that he had officially passed away. There I stopped and listened to an audiobook of this passage.
I knew that life on Earth must come to an end, there is a time for it as there is a time for everything under the sun, but what I didn’t understand was the timing of this. Nonetheless, I understood that our God is a God of Perfect Timing, despite our constant struggles to try and understand why the timing is perfect.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
I understood immediately that despite the tragedy that has been placed before me and my family, The Lord will make a way. I understand little about the situation that caused someone so close to me to do something such as this, but I understand that God works for the Good of those who love him. I knew instantly, as pained and hurt as I was, that the Lord would make a miracle out of this yet.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Following the news that my grandfather has succumbed to his self-infliction and has passed, I prayed over myself and my family for God to grant us a peace beyond all understanding. Throughout the next few weeks, in funeral preparation and in grieving, I would feel at peace throughout the majority of the time, constantly referring back to the prayer that I offered the night this happened. The Lord listens to us and hears our prayers.
Finally, and most importantly,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
I know that my Grandfather Loved the Lord and served him tirelessly. Even through his addiction and struggles with pain medication abuse, my grandfather was a faithful servant to our Lord Jesus Christ.
I know that my grandfather who walked this Earth is gone, but I know that his suffering on Earth has ended, along with his pain, and addiction, and struggles that he carried in his earthly body. I also know that my grandfather now walks and talks with Jesus Christ in eternity, is able to dine at the Heavenly banquet, and is free from all pain and sin.
The way that I have grieved is not because I am strong, rather I know that I am very weak in grief. But, the LORD our God is strong, and he provides where we lack, he lifts up where we fall down, and he is strong when we are weak. My first encounter with grief was something that came unexpectedly for everyone in our family and amongst friends. Nonetheless, The LORD was prepared for it, and knew exactly how to lead and guide us all when the moment came about.
Suicide is never the answer to life’s questions and problems. The pain that is caused by the taking of someone’s own life is felt by a large variety of people, family and friends alike. If you or someone you know is questioning or contemplating, please reach out to the church office, to Pastor Glen, the church staff, or anyone whom you love and trust. Suicide is not something that we should lightly tread away from, but rather boldly confront as Christians, in love and trust that our God is Good and Life is Worth The Living, because HE Lives.