One of the most difficult things any of us deal with is the loss of a loved one. My family and my church family have navigated the loss of loved ones this past couple of years and stood fast together in the midst of the questions that come.
We have all struggled with the "why" ... why can sickness and disease comes with such a vengeance ... but more important than why must be what’s next? Not a question of what events of sadness, sickness and death may come but rather what does God have in store for us who trust His goodness?
I am so comforted knowing that God is not the author of sickness and death. He is the "alpha and omega - the beginning and the end" of all that we experience in this life. Knowing He is the beginning and the end gives me confidence that in all of life’s realities God is still God and nothing ever triumphs over us, not even death.
The inevitable triumph of Christ is ours because Jesus was the first to rise again after the cross and secured for us eternal life. My brother Steve fought the good fight of faith until he took his last breath on Tuesday, February 21, 2017. For three years he stood fast in faith for healing while at the same time seeking the medical care needed to combat liver cancer.
There was a sense of hope that chemotherapy and the care of his Doctor - coupled with prayer and faith - would result in complete remission ... but Steve finished the race set before him and without anger or desperation he peacefully entered into the presence of Jesus.
Many days I was privileged to sit and talk with him about what we were going to do with his call to lead worship at CCR. How we were going to raise the spiritual water level through praise and deep intimate encounters with the Holy Spirit. It was happening each Sunday when in his weakened condition he climbed the two steps to the piano and sang with an anointing and energy that was truly supernatural.
I can still hear the opening verse "Can you hear the sound from heaven, like the sound of living waters, It's the sound of worship coming from the throne. There are cries of adoration as men from every nation lift their voice to make his glory known. Singing Holy, Holy, Holy are you Lord." As he led us with a strong yet trembling voice, we felt the presence of Jesus flow over us and the comfort of the Holy Spirit carry us beyond our earth bound reality.
Many times in our conversations he confessed that Jesus was his healer, and made me promise to preach the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ - as savior, healer, deliverer, baptizer in the Holy Spirit and our soon coming King.
I don't have a good answer as to why some are healed supernaturally and others succumb to the ravages of disease … but I do know this ... God's promises are true, our faith did not fail us, and the grave has no victory and death has lost its sting, because Jesus has conquered it all.
The Apostle Paul declared in 1 Corinthians 15: 57, "Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord." The what’s next for me, my family, and the Church I lead is found in verse 58 of the same chapter: "Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."