Two high school sweethearts were recently killed in Fulton in a car crash on a rain slicked road. They slid into the path of an oncoming car whose older couple was also seriously injured. Shock, disbelief and confusion followed, along with many tributes to the victims and some genuine expressions of Christian faith and hope, especially by the older couple. They were visiting from out of town to witness their granddaughter’s baptism.
How does any of this make sense? Young people taken before the joys of mature life began. An older couple left with deep injuries and deeper sorrows. Classmates deprived of their friends. And, unspeakably, parents having to bury their children.
No residual good can compensate for these losses. A greater appreciation for the simple blessings of life, thankfulness for ordinary mercies, motivations to be better stewards of each day - any and all of these are not sufficient to explain this unbearable providence.
The only – the only – thing that can satisfy the soul in these sorrows is the faithful promise of God to undo these calamities into the perfection of His joy. When the Lord Jesus comes to destroy all evil and perfect all good, then even these sorrows will be forgotten as when a mother forgets her labor pains when she holds her baby (John 16:21). The Apostle Paul says in one place, “momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). In another place he says, “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Roman 8:18). Nothing other than this blessed hope (Titus 2:13) is sufficient to enable us to bear such extreme sorrow.
“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). Trust God in His testimonies in the Scriptures. Hope in God in His promises in the Scriptures. Love God in keeping His commandments in the Scriptures. This is incomparable comfort.
Kit Swartz Ruling Elder The Reformed Presbyterian Church in Fulton, NY Pastor Emeritus The Reformed Presbyterian Church in Oswego, NY