Josh Chan reflects on God's faithfulness in a difficult time.
Early one morning in my fourth year, I received a call from a friend back home in Canada. My father had been struck by a car while crossing the road. He was taken to ICU but died hours later. My mother had just left the hospital when our pastor arrived. She wouldn't answer the phone or door; nobody knew where she was. That evening I got hold of her; she was shaken but holding firm that if God allowed it, we his children will be ok. Undoubtedly I too was shaken, but not uprooted. My father met the Lord years before, through my Christian mother; I was comforted knowing I will see him again in glory. I'm proud of how firm my mother was, insisting my father investigate Christ's claims and decide for himself before they discussed marriage – and I'm so glad about his decision. Last time I had to deal with the sudden death of a friend, I was not prepared. This time was different; I had since spent time soaking daily in God's Word.
Through his Word, God began pouring out comfort immediately: 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you'; (1) 'All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be'; (2) 'If we live, we live for the Lord, if we die, we die for the Lord; so, whether we live or die we belong to the Lord' (3); 'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose'; (4) 'And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus'. (5)
Having read the remarkably encouraging book Code Red by the young thoracic surgeon Andrew Drain years ago, I recalled the author finding encouragement and peace through the story of Job as he faced his diagnosis and treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and later death. In Job 1, not only does Satan ask God's permission to put Job through trials, but God himself suggests and grants it. This indicates that God is in control, despite Satan's intention to turn Job against God.
My father had suffered from long term abdominal pain, which we had prayed for God to heal, though we didn't question why he was never healed. I soon realised our prayers were answered – just not how we expected. People ask whether the police found the person responsible for hitting my dad, but I'm not concerned about it at all. God has taken my dad home and taken away his pain. While I miss him, I'm honestly at peace with it. I am so thankful to God for the body of Christ here and in Canada (CMFers and non-CMFers alike) for their prayers for God's peace and comfort to envelop me because the peace of God which transcends all understanding is real and beyond our comprehension.