Yesterday we got the terrible news that a friend of ours had been killed.  Gone.  Killed.  Dead.

These words are the hardest for me today.  My emotions are flowing every which way and I can't figure out which way is right.  First I'm so mad at God about this.  Really a 33 year old man?  Really God?  Aren't there old people that are ready to go home?  Not him.  Not now.

Then in the next moment I'm so overwhelmed with happiness for him.  He's with GOD.  He's with GOD.  He's with GOD.  My mind can't even grasp that thought.  It can't even comprehend that.  It has no bandwidth for what it means to be with God.

Then in the next moment I'm so sad for his wife and son.  So sad.  Overwhelmed with sadness.  We experienced this a few years ago when another friend suddenly died and left a wife and a daughter behind.  It's not easier this time and I still grieve for her.  Today she woke up as a widow.  Oh my heart hurts.

There are so many things I don't know and understand about death and particularly his death yesterday, but I'm confident in two things that I do know.

#1 God was not missing that day.  He didn't fall asleep upstairs and turn his back on us.  He was there.  He is here.  He is with us and has never left or turned his back.  God's ways are not our ways, but he says in his word (and if it says it there then I believe it) that he brings good from everything.  What man meant for evil, he means for good.  Today in the midst of all my questions I can trust that God will bring good from this.  He said it.  I believe him.  I'm trusting him for it.

#2  We are not grieving for our friend that has gone.  I struggled with this yesterday.  I would be so sad for him because he was killed and won't see his son & wife again, but then I was reminded that he gained EVERYTHING and lost NOTHING.   He's home.  Our home is not here.  We are here for such a short time, and then we're gone.  Our friend is home.  He's in his right place.  We aren't meant to be here forever.  We will meet again.  His wife will meet him again one day.  That is hope friends.  I'm resting in this today.

Today I will continue to grieve.  I will continue to pray fervently for the people that did this to him, that they would know Jesus and experience his forgiveness.  I will continue to pray for his wife and his son, that they will have a peace that passes all understanding as they walk through these dark days ahead.  I will continue to pray for my family, that we will pursue God with all that's in us, and count everything a loss except for the name of Jesus.

Death. It is just so bittersweet and I'm tasting both of those today.

Jamie Ivey