Last night I received the heart-wrenching news that a college friend of mine, Cheryl, died suddenly Tuesday evening. She leaves behind a husband and three little girls, ages 6 ½, 3 ½ and 2. She had no known health problem—she was simply jogging, and she collapsed. She never woke up. Cheryl was one of the most life-embracing people I’ve ever known—in every memory I have of her, she was laughing.
The magnitude of such a tragedy is hard to take in. Thinking of those little girls is more than I can bear. The two younger ones will likely never remember their mother.
Years ago, I would’ve struggled with the “why” of this. But I’ve grappled enough with the hard spiritual questions in life to know that the “why” is simply beyond my comprehension. God had a reason to call this young mother home, and that statement will sound like an empty platitude to some people. I can accept that—years ago I would’ve thought the same thing. But life experience and faith—not logic—have taught me that our sovereign God is a good God. When I can’t understand His working, I just have to trust what I know about His heart.
All that’s left for me to do is to grieve, and to pray my heart out for this precious family. I’ll pray that those girls are surrounded by people who love them and who can tell them how wonderful their mother was. I’ll pray that Cheryl’s husband will somehow find the strength to put one foot in front of the other. Most of all, I’ll pray that as this family finds itself in life’s darkest valley, they will feel God’s presence, for it is surely there.