I have always been the type of person to ask questions. When I was a teenager, I drove my mother crazy with the questions that I used to ask about my faith. I look back now and realize that Mom grew up in the depression years of the thirties. She lived in the country, too far from the town for her to go to school. With a grade eight education and coming from a background in which the kind of questions that I was asking just weren’t asked, I was asking the impossible for her to give me the answers that I desired.
When I graduated from high school, I was introduced to the writings of Paul Little and Francis Schaeffer and those were like water in the desert. I finally realized that there were people who were able to give intelligent answers to difficult questions of faith.
I never questioned the validity of my faith. From childhood I believed that Jesus was the eternal Son of God who died for my sin, was buried and rose again. I did, however, seriously question the reasonableness of my faith. I constantly searched for answers to the questions that filled my head.
A different kind of faith
I am writing this in a motel room in Moncton, New Brunswick. I just got off the phone with my wife a short time ago and she told me that her youngest sister had died during the night. For the past four or five years Diane had fought a battle with cancer and from an earthly perspective at about five this morning cancer won.
There were many things that were special about Diane. She was the mother of eight wonderful children. I grew up in a family of eight and I know how amazing a mother has to be in that setting. There are always demands on her time. You raise eight children, you don’t get a lot of personal time to.
Diane was an artist. She loved making beautiful things and we will treasure those things that she made for us.
I think though that when I think of Diane, I think of how different she was from me. I had the questioning kind of faith but Diane had the quiet, simple kind of faith that just trusts and doesn’t question. She had the kind of faith that whatever life threw at her, she just kept on believing. It is that kind of faith that brought her through this battle with cancer.
I had a friend once who said to me that there was one kind of person over whom Satan had no power. He said that it was the person who whatever they might face just said “I’m just going to keep on believing.” My sister-in-law was that kind of person.
Diane knew that eventually cancer was going to take her life. But she also deeply believed that it could never have the final victory. She believed with all her heart that whatever happened she was going to win in the end. She couldn’t have given you all the philosophical answers concerning death. She couldn’t give you a deep theological answer or an exegesis of the appropriate verses.
What she had though was a faith that simply believed and that knew that Jesus had already won the battle when he rose from the dead and that ultimately she was going to win because he had already won.
We are going to miss her very, very much. There will be an empty spot that nothing will completely fill. That is what death leaves us here on earth.
But for now I am going to put aside my questions and I am going to rely on her simple faith. She is in heaven with Jesus. She is free from the suffering that she endured here. She has an eternity ahead of her that will be wonderful. I can’t answer all the questions concerning eternity but I believe it is true because the Bible says it is. That was enough for Diane and it needs to be enough for me.