This past week has been a difficult week for a lot of people I know. The young man pictured to the left, Andrew Johnson, was killed in an accident on his farm. Andrew was just 11 years old. And as a parent myself, of an 11 year old boy, I can tell you that Andrew’s parents are living our worst nightmare!
I was asked to conduct Andrew’s funeral in Benton, KY on Saturday, July 19, 2008. Hundreds of people were present in an effort to show their love and support for Andrew’s mother and father.
If I may, I would like to share a few truths that were reinforced to me over the weekend.
- The thin thread of life is fragile, and can be broken at any time. I saw many mothers hugging tightly, their own sons and daughters, realizing that this tragedy could have befallen them just as easily, and thankful that it hadn’t. Don’t live as though you’re invincible. You’re not. You’re just a breath away from eternity.
- I was reminded that death is no respector of persons. Death will always come to the aged, but it doesn’t confine itself there. We all know that the old must die, but we also know that the young sometimes die too.
- I was reminded of how little I understand about life and death. I, like Job, could ask a thousand “whys?” But I think I would come away with the same answer that was given to Job. “Trust Me. Just trust Me.” And that must be sufficient. I fully trust that God can bring good from tragedy (Romans 8:28), even when I don’t see how it is possible.
- I was reminded of how thankful I am for the resurrection and eternal life. If the grave were the end…what an overwhelming tragedy! But the grave is not the end, but merely a transition. Some day all who are in the grave will hear the voice of the Lord and will come forth! (John 5:28-29). Death can be, in light of this future reunion, one of the greatest motives to serve God and desire to go to Heaven.
As you go to God in prayer this week, remember Andrew Johnson’s family in your prayers.