How do you focus forward when their is still pain and suffering? How do you honor and celebrate the new exciting things in life, without feeling like you're dishonoring those you've lost, or things you've been through? This is something that many of us struggle with, especially those who have faced great loss.
In my home, we've struggled with this. More than three years after my brother Austin's disappearance, we still hurt. But new life has come into our home, life that deserves to be celebrated, loved, and enjoyed. Does it dishonor Austin for us to laugh and love? No. Is it hard to remember that some days? Yes.
In our church, we are still struggling with this as a body. We lost our amazing Godly pastor five months ago, and still hurt as a church. But God is working! God has chosen another great man to lead us, and has brought our church together in ways we always prayed for. We want to celebrate the way He is working, celebrate the plans that He has for us. But sometimes that hurts. We don't want to dishonor Pastor Ken by forgetting, but the reality is that we'll never forget. But we will move ahead. Does that dishonor him? No, it simply means we learned from him that God will work through even our pain.
This will continue to be a work in progress for many of us. But we're reminded that God is in control, God is working, and there are wonderful things ahead. And while looking ahead and celebrating what is to come, we're truly honoring those who helped us become who we are.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. (Psalm 103:2-5)