Last week I attended the funeral of a 21-year-old young man killed in a single-vehicle car accident. It seems he fell asleep at the wheel while driving through some mountainous terrain nearby.
A large crowd gathered to remember him, to support his family, and to share the experience of grief. Loss always produces grief, and grief has a way of producing questions.
Our hearts cry out for clarity. We want to understand. We assume that answers will produce comfort. So, we wrestle with “why.” We try to pin it to the mat, to force a response, to get clarity.
The opening words of the funeral service touched me deeply. How do we explain the death of a child or the untimely death of a young adult or even the passing of a young mom? The pastor delineated between certainty and clarity. “We want clarity, to explain what has already happened,” he said. “Instead, we have certainty that supports the soul.”
The Bible reminds us, over and over, of the certainties that carry us through seasons when we yearn for clarity. We can be certain that:
Nothing can separate us from the love of God
God’s grace is sufficient for our every need
God’s power is perfected in our weakness
God’s Presence supports and sustains us
God hears the prayers of His people
Eternity rests in God’s hands, as do we
God’s Spirit comforts and holds us
God is surprised by nothing, overwhelmed by nothing, and transcends everything.
In times of loss and grief, my questions can easily grow larger than His reality; my sadness distracts me from His goodness; my fear blinds me to His love. My desire for clarity can overshadow the gift of certainty that Christ extends.
I sat with the crowd last week — many young people facing mortality with confusion — and the words of certainty (the words of faith) brought hope and perspective. When I lack clarity, I can rest on certainty.
Because of grace.