Struggles – we all struggle! We talk about struggling with direction, relationships, finances, or mental health just to name a few. What we essentially are saying is that we are wrestling with, battling, trying to understand or overcome. One of the things that doesn’t always translate through the pastoral persona is my humanity but friends, I too struggle.
Over the weekend I was asked by a church member to do a funeral for the brother of a close friend. The guy was 34 years, 119 days old when he left this life. I struggle with burying someone who dies young because it isn’t the natural order of things – we are supposed to all live long and happy lives and then die in our old age! It is a struggle to watch parents bury their children.
Yesterday I received an email letting me know that a close friend of mine is being moved to Kansas City Hospice. Her husband and family had to make the hardest decision anyone can face – to stop all life-sustaining treatments – the hospice center will be the last place she resides on this earth. My heart aches for my friends. She is in her late 40’s. She will not be there to see her youngest daughter graduate from high school or for any of her children’s college graduation. She will not be there to attend any of their weddings or the birth of any of their children. She has done amazing work for God’s kingdom – hearts and lives have been forever touched by her grace and ministry but her leadership will be sorely missed. I am not looking forward to attending her funeral; I struggle with the very thought that she just won’t be around anymore.
And as I get older my parents are as well. Today my dad had an emergency procedure to eradicate blockages in both of his legs. He has elevated cholesterol and so do I. Although I take a prescription medication for it, this is a reminder of the need to stop struggling with health and exercise and to get moving – literally!
I share this with you for the simple purpose of letting you know that I too struggle. While you can’t fix any of these things I do know how you can help – it’s the same thing you often ask of me. Be in prayer for my friends, my family and for your pastor!
Maybe this is apropos since it is Holy Week! In the face of hopelessness, despair, and struggles we can hold on to the hope that is ours in Jesus Christ. Willing to endure everything including the cruelty of a cross, Jesus was resurrected so that we might have hope and new life. While we all struggle with things we have to remember – Easter is coming! This broken world is only our temporary home – eternity with God awaits us! And this world will only remain broken for whatever time God allows – someday it will all be made new and the hope of resurrection is that we will be there to witness it! Glory and thanks be to God!
In closing I want you to know that it is truly a privilege to be in ministry with each of you and to know that God has a wonderful future ahead of us!