Thursday, June 30, 2011

Life, Death, and the Sovereignty of God (R.I.P. Amber Fields)

I just got back from the funeral of a 26 year old mother and wife. She was killed in a car accident less than a week ago. I knew her because she used to work for me in Louisville. Amber Fields truly was all of those nice things they said about her in the funeral service. One of my fondest memories of her is the way she spoke. She spoke with a sweet, country accent. She always had a smile. She was kind to everyone. Now, truth be told, I hadn't seen Amber much during these past couple of years. She had worked in our restaurant in Louisville for a year or so. Then she worked at our Lexington restaurant, so I had less contact with her. But, working for the same company still, we would occasionally see each other at company events. And she always had a big hug and smile for me when she saw me. She always made me feel welcomed and respected.

Because we hadn't been in contact as much, I was surprised by how hard the news of her death hit me. I am genuinely sad. I feel a sense of loss. This tells me how much of an impact she had on me. And by the two overflowing rooms of mourners at the funeral, she had that same kind of impact on many others.

I went into the viewing and service feeling rather numb. After seeing her and greeting her husband, I felt extremely sorrowful and could only cry. But during the service, the pastor quoted a Bible verse that changed my sorrow into something different. The verse:  Revelation 14:13,

And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Write,
'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'"
"Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors,
for their deeds follow with them." (NIV)

The pastor explained that Amber believed in the Lord Jesus and was therefore "in the Lord." She died "in the Lord" and was blessed. This verse and short explanation reminded me that even though Amber's death seems only tragic, the truth is not only tragic. There is HOPE! Yes, we mourn the loss of a truly wonderful person, but we have hope because Amber is BLESSED! We mourn, but she is worshiping God Almighty before His holy throne!    Now, I won't try to pretend that this truth will make Amber's husband and son feel no pain. Of course they will. But that is not the end of the story! Her husband and son can someday have hope knowing that their loved one IS BLESSED.

And guess what? This little verse reminds me that I have HOPE for other loved ones who have "died in the Lord!" It is less than a month from the 28th anniversary of my own mother's death. She was a young mom, too. She was 32. My mother loved the Lord Jesus and served Him the best she knew how... She died "in the Lord" and I am wonderfully reminded that she IS BLESSED!

The Lord is sovereign over all of the affairs of men. Even the events that seem to make no sense, like Amber's death. But in the midst of these dark Providences, we have hope. God, who brings darkness out of light, life out of death, order out of chaos- God gives us hope. He's the only One who can give us hope in life's seemingly hopeless events.
Remember, God's all sovereign and stuff....

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