Your kindness and love will always be with me each day of my life, and I will live forever in your house, LORD. – Psalms 23:6 CEV
I’m rather melancholy today. Late last week, we learned that a co-worker of mine (I didn’t know him, but I do know his close friend and boss very well) has gone to be with the Lord. But the circumstances may not be what you think. It wasn’t COVID.
Last week, Boko Haram came into the village where this brother, Solomon, lived. They entered his home and wanted to kidnap his daughter. Solomon, a pastor, refused to let her go and tried to protect her. Boko Haram shot and killed him. Thanks be to God, in the chaos of the moment, his daughter was able to hide herself and Boko Haram didn’t get her. Both the daughter and her mother have now been taken to a safe and secure location. Solomon’s heroic actions undoubtedly saved his daughter from unspeakably evil things. But Solomon is gone.
How do we square such things with passages like Psalm 23:6? It’s hard…very hard. Sometimes we can only attempt to see things such as this through the eyes of faith.
When we fall in love with someone, we all hope and want it to last forever. No one falls in love thinking and hoping that someday they will become bitter toward one another and filled with hate. They don’t get married planning to divorce. But they do know that at some point, they will be separated by death if nothing else.
That thought terrifies those of us who deeply love our families and friends. We don’t want to deal with the pain of that loss, or to be the cause of that kind of pain to our loved ones. But we know that at some point it will happen.
We look at this verse and it says that God’s kindness and love is different. It will be with us each and every day of our lives. God’s love and kindness for us won’t grow old, he won’t grow bitter toward us, and not even death itself will separate us from him. It is hard to understand and believe that – we can only imagine such a love through hopeful eyes of faith – and we long for it to be really, really true.
Solomon is dwelling now in the house of the Lord, where he will know nothing but love and kindness throughout endless ages. In the meantime, we who are left behind are the unfortunate ones as separation from those we love still looms ahead of us somewhere down the line, but we need not fear that of God – and that’s no small consolation. In times like this, when it is most hard to believe in the unending kindness and love of God, it is most vitally important that we do just that.
Please join me in praying for pastor Solomon’s (his first name – last name omitted for safety reasons) family and other who are in harms way.
PRAYER: Lord, we lift up Solomon’s family to you for your comfort. Hold them all close, let them hear your heartbeat and see your tears as your heart breaks for them, but give them assurance that Solomon is safe in your home. Keep us always in your love and kindness as we await the time, we, too, shall be home with you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2021 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>