Yesterday we found out that a man we used to go to church with, at the church our daughter still attends and is on staff, died in his sleep. To use the term “friend” would not be appropriate since other than church we really didn’t get together or anything, but this man was a Brother to me in the Lord! As a family, the Young’s have gone through “almost” insurmountable difficulties over the last several years … But God!!! Robert’s wife, Lia, was diagnosed with a lung problem and went from having some difficulty breathing to needing oxygen 24-7 to being within days of being intubated and just waiting to die without a lung transplant … But God!!! At the beginning of this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75zLiGEZwYU), you see a picture of Robert and his family as Lia tells a little about her lung transplant story. If you are so inclined, there is a longer, more in depth video about their journey through Lia’s sickness at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqiMF4uXb20. It is truly an amazing story and gift from God! As the Young’s were going through Lia’s sickness, we were still attending that church and I would check in with Robert to see how they were doing and I don’t ever remember a time where he didn’t invoke his incredible smile and tell me how blessed they were!
To my knowledge there were no indications that Robert was ill and it is still too early to know how he died, but we obviously know based on God’s Word that Robert was taken immediately from this broken world to the presence of his Savior, Jesus Christ! “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). Billy Graham writes, “We have hope beyond the grave! ‘If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men’ (1 Corinthians 15:19, NIV). The reuniting of living believers with those who have died before the coming of our Lord is part of the “blessed hope” Christians look forward to (Titus 2:13). The Christian should be able to confront death realistically yet victoriously. Though inevitable and often unexpected, death should never catch us completely off guard. Death should never be a “great unknown” that produces fear and terror; it should be, rather, the moment when we no longer see “in a mirror, dimly” but “face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12).”
Lia and her children and other family, Robert’s friends and church family are all grieving as we do in times like these. My daughter got home from church very late last night after I was already asleep. After scaring me awake … which she prepared herself for … she just hugged me, cried and we shared “I love you’s!” As I drove to work this morning, I thanked Jesus for leaving us the Holy Spirit as He promised He would (John 14:16-17) and for being the great comforter that brings peace beyond understanding (Phil 4:7)! God is good … ALL the time … even (especially) when we are hurting. There are many scriptures dealing with and addressing death and I thank God for the assurances of life with Him when this life is over! Please pray for the Young family and all those around them. Give your family an extra hug and kiss today as you remember them in your prayers!
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In 58 My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1–3).
“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9–10).
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:20–21, NIV).