“But the Lord is faithful…” – 2 Thessalonians 3:3
We were nearly 2,000 miles from home, following through with our commitment to purposely find adventure in our early years of marriage. The day had consisted of a hotter-than-we-were-used-to climate, exploration of the big city, new faces, and a job interview that seemed promising. We returned to our hotel room late that evening – tired but satisfied – to find a note that had been slid underneath our hotel room door.
“Call your father immediately.”
Suddenly more alert than when we had arrived, we fumbled our way though land lines and calling cards to connect with my father-in-law. There had been an accident, and in an instant, my fifty-two year old mother-in-law was gone.
So surreal that it could be happening to us.
What happened next was a blur, and all we can figure is that the Lord must have placed an angel in disguise at the hotel front desk late that night. With tears streaming down our faces and bodies so weak we could barely stand, we uttered the words, “Can you please help us?” Before we knew it we were on the next flight home, stuck in a terrible nightmare that we desperately wished we could wake up from.
Her death had stunned her small Indiana hometown, where she was an elementary school teacher and a friend to many. The funeral receiving line was hours long, overflowing with everyone from her young students and their parents to lifelong friends who had traveled from across state lines. We stood shaking hands and accepting condolences until nearly midnight.
“Make sure you boldly preach the gospel.”
There couldn’t have been clearer family instructions for a funeral service. And boldly preach they did. In an auditorium filled with hundreds, the pastor spoke truth, hope, and life. Life that is made up of infinitely more than this world has to offer. Life that says Jesus is better, Jesus has done it all, Jesus is worthy, and Jesus is faithful in the midst of the deepest suffering you will ever face on this earth.
And with heads bowed and hands raised across the room, I had a front row seat to the faithfulness of my great God that day.
He was faithful in life, drawing my mother-in-law to Himself and making her a new creation in Christ.
He was faithful in death, ensuring that expired time on earth is really not the end for those who trust in Him.
And He was faithful in suffering, providing grace upon grace and making His name known to those who desperately needed to hear of their need for a Savior.
This is our God, and He is like no other.
So what three words can we say when this world feels hopeless, when our enemies are relentless, and when our sin entangles us? Praise God that even in our unfaithfulness…
He. is. faithful.
He is faithful… in life, in death, in suffering, and in a million other mundane moments throughout our ordinary days. In all of these things, “may the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.” (2 Thess. 3:5)
And so Father, because of who You are we can confidently lay it all down at your feet once again and pray “Thy will be done.”
*Let’s talk: Share a time in your life when you have experienced the overwhelming faithfulness of our great God…