As I wandered towards the church building, I knew it would be an emotional ride. It was a funeral, after all. Twenty metres from the entrance, though, the weight of loss become tangible. Not a close mate, but a mate all the same. Same age as me, four older children, dead at fifty in the most unexpected of circumstances.
A man who loved well, loved life, was passionate in his relationship with God and placed Jesus at the centre of his everything—the wellspring from which all else flowed. It was said of Tim that ‘he wasn’t the life of the party, but he brought life to the party’. What a beautiful tribute.
His best mate and his children gave deep, rich eulogies that testified to his legacy; a legacy expressed and continuing through their lives and words.
We sang, “In the chaos, in confusion, I know You’re sovereign still”. The line hung in the air, pregnant with perplexity. There’d been no fanfare, no drumroll, no indication of Tim’s death. The celebration of his life was as emphatic as the sudden loss.
As his best mate eulogised, “I knew him and loved him over many, many years. Our lives, our families, and our lives serving God together were deeply intertwined. Our lives were hidden in Christ, sharing a love for our Saviour and Lord,
“I don’t have an answer for why we’re standing here together right now remembering his life. I have no answer for his death. But I’m comfortable to rest in the mystery knowing the One who holds everything together. That’s ok with me. That’s enough. I’m content with the mystery.”
The mystery of Tim’s death is trumped by an even greater mystery: that God’s love was so great, is so great, that he would not spare his only Son to reconcile Tim (and all of us) with Him. His love—inseparable, unfathomable, unbreakable, ineffable—is so great that death loses its sting. Its finality is no match for God’s aggressive, intervening, history-diving grace in Christ Jesus.
There’s plenty to scratch our heads over. There’s also inspirational truth to rest in, be fuelled by, and fix our eyes upon. But this one thing is no mystery: “In the chaos, in confusion, I know you’re sovereign still”.
This is not everything, but it is enough.