It’s been said that God has His reasons for everything. This, necessarily, includes the fact that we are allowed to die in ways heinous and peaceful. And that many, if not virtually all of us, leave behind those who will mourn our passing. Who, as like as not, question God whenever one is taken before we think he or she is ready.
Case in point is the sudden death this morning of one of the kindest members of our church family, Susan Johnson. Susan was young, not having reached 50. Well, to me, at 62, that’s young. She was our children’s choir director, and this all by itself takes the patience of Job.
Susan and her husband BJ also have been mission Christians, putting, as it were, their money where their faith is. Bottom line? Susan was doing the Lord’s work, much more than I’ve ever done. Yet she is now dead.
The usual answers to the question of “Why her; why now?” are evasions. “God is sovereign, and we’re not to question His actions.” “Satan owns the earth, and our deaths are the natural consequence of original sin.” True enough, but not very satisfactory to those of us who consider ourselves so enlightened, so logical, that every action must be explained as though in a court of law.
And that’s the real lesson for me in the passing of this wonderful woman. Not everything is amenable to this logical, legalistic treatment. Some things are beyond our ken. The death of Susan Johnson is one of them. What we can know is that Susan lived her faith. What we can hope for, and trust in as being true, without proof in this life, is that her death is merely a new beginning for her as she is with the Lord. Would that I had the strength of faith to believe this.
I try to believe it. So far, I have failed. I’ll keep trying, and all the while, keep praying for BJ and their two little girls. That they will find the strength in Jesus Christ to know that they were blessed by having Susan in their lives. She was a gift from God to them. And us.