Leah Whyte. I was not close to her, but some of my closest friends were some of her closest friends and family.
Words; people say there’s nothing can be said, and though there are times and places where nothing should be said, (and there will be many of those over the next few weeks), words have power. Having decided not to, I’ve now decided to carefully and with tears write a blog for those who loved Leah not as a tribute but hopefully as a help and to let you know that many are mourning your lost with you.
In the words of her mum ‘Leah was ready to die, we were not ready to say goodbye.’
Though we can barely believe it we must hold on to the truth that God is faithful. By God is faithful we mean that His faithfulness can be depended on. We can trust in it fully.
God’s is faithful. Truth is these words go deep, much deeper than we sometimes give them credit for. This depth is truly realised when death comes and unapologetically interrupts our lives.
Death is sad, no matter how ready someone is or how ready we know they are, it’s sad. Friends please grieve, mourn and grieve because this is not the way it should be.
God can and does work for the good and bring good out of evil. But God is the one who gives life and it is this fallen world and the enemy who takes it away…
We do great damage to ourselves and our thoughts about God when we look at something wrong/evil and try to call it good.
As those who mourn we need to be able to say:
“This is not good:
This is not the way it should be
This is a tear in the fabric of God’s good creation
And God weeps over it and rages against it
And one day will defeat this enemy for good and restore all the goodness”
And that’s the thing, this is not good, but we have a good God. ‘And what then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us.’ Not even death can stand against us.
For like Jesus when faced with Jairus’ daughter or standing at the tomb of His friend Lazarus, He wept. It was not good yet he did not finish with weeping. Like Jesus we too can mock the clutch of death and call it sleep. For we know and we trust that the same man who raised Lazarus has been to the cross, has defeated that final enemy and has rose victorious. CHRIST HAS RISEN, CHRIST HAS RISEN INDEED.
And it is Him, who now says to Horace’s daughter as He did to Jairus’ daughter ‘young girl, its time to wake up’, let me show you heaven for great is your inheritance here.
And Leah will do what she loved to do…
She is with her Lord, where those of us who’ve trusted Jesus are going too.
So I ask you to:
Grieve well, but with hope.
This is how the story will end. These words have power, not simply because of how beautiful they are, but because they are a promise from our faithful Father.
“I heard a loud voice from the throne saying. ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said ‘I am making everything new’.”
As those who mourn we’ve a few important choices to make for ourselves…
- Choose to be better not bitter.
- Choose to believe the truth not the lies.
- Choose to rise to Hope not fall to despair.
- Choose to focus on eternity not the temporary.
- Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and your heart in eternity.
Leah is alive, in-fact she is happy. I know this because we can depend on God’s faithfulness. God is faithful. Death is no-longer the final enemy but marks the start of eternity an eternity where we will meet Leah and together with everyone praise the God who is good who gives life. For he has promised; and he is faithful.
Where O death is your victory.
Grieve well, with hope…
Standing on Grace, Andrew.
Jairus daughter story is in Mark 5:21-43