I’ve buried countless people and have been by the dying bed side of a couple hundred. But, this time was different for some reason. Maybe it was because it was so unexpected, maybe it was because it hit so close to home, and maybe it was because it just felt terrible in so many ways. Earlier that day we had no idea that our co-worker and friend would tragically lose her 19 year old daughter in a car accident later that evening. Days later we are left with the God sized task of not only accepting this reality, but figuring out a way to move forward. After many tears, prayers, and searching God’s word I think I’ve found some comfort and direction as we seek to move forward. I sought to answer these three critical questions during the funeral of Allie Murdaugh, a very special young lady who has touched the lives of so many in her short life here on this earth.
Question #1: WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?
To that I quickly confess….I DON’T KNOW, but GOD DOES.
None of this makes sense from our perspective.
But, that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have a plan.
(Proverbs 16:9) In their hearts human beings plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-2) There is a time for everything,and a season for every activity under the heavens:2 a time to be born and a time to die….
From our view things appear to be accidents. God only has APPOINTMENTS.
Hebrews 9:27 it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Now, I realize that many will say, “How can you say this is God’s will?” I’m not saying that everything that has happened was God’s will, but I am saying that God is never taken by surprise and that God has numbered our days. Only God knows when we will be born and when we will die.
Question #2: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
I believe most of us are still in shock and the reality of this has not clearly set in.
Right now, it is more like a bad dream where you wish you could just wake up and it not be true.
Here is what we must do if we are to move forward…
1.RUN TO GOD
*You can turn many directions to drown your pain but only God can give you true help and healing.
(Psalm 121:1-8) 1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm —he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore
2. TRUST GOD’S PLANS
(Proverbs 3:5-6) Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.[a]
It is perfectly normal and human to ask, “WHY?”
But, ultimately we have to trust that God has a higher purpose than we can see at this time.
Scripture says God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways.
3. WALK WITH GOD DAILY
God sent His son Jesus so that He could have a personal relationship with each one of us.
Our feelings and circumstances will change like the weather but God is the only one who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Alesa, one thing I have learned during our time of working together at hospice is that you have a real and ongoing relationship with God through his son Jesus Christ.
It was just last Friday that you posted the following scripture on your facebook status…
(Psalm 31:5) (GNT) I place myself in your care. You will save me, LORD; you are a faithful God.
Question #3: WHERE IS ALLIE NOW?
As some of us saw and others heard about…
Allie was in a very bad car wreck late Wednesday afternoon.
Those who saw her last didn’t see the beautiful girl they once knew as Allie Murdaugh.
Let’s make this very clear. Allie is not only ok, but she is better than that.
You see, when a believer in Jesus Christ dies we don’t grieve for them, we grieve for us.
Why? Because we miss them and want them to be around forever.
A couple of days ago, when Allie drew her last breath on this earth she did not die, but she transitioned to a real and unbelievable place called Heaven.
(Revelation 21:4) says this about Heaven…He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away
(2 Corinthians 5:17)“If anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come.”
No, Allie Murdaugh was not here on this earth nearly as long as many would like but she is now in the safe arms of Jesus.
She is in a place of complete peace, joy, and eternal happiness.
Why? Because Allie received God’s grace and forgiveness and placed her faith in Jesus Christ.
(John 3:16) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(Romans 10:9) If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
(Many ask, but how can we know she’s in Heaven)(1 John 5:13) I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Yesterday, one of the gentlemen who worked at Herndon’s Funeral home was getting the chapel ready for the service. For a few moments he sat that big picture of Allie you saw on your way in (leaned up against the second to last pew) as he went to go get something. When he got back what he saw gave him chills and I believe will give us some confirmation. The sun was beaming through the stained glass window and the only thing lit up was the face and the smile of Allie. He said it was as if she was glowing, radiating with joy. It was such a sight that he ran and got some of the others to come and look at it themselves.
Today, we celebrate not for ourselves, but for Allie and the new life that she has because of God’s grace and through her faith in Jesus Christ.
*We all must continue to keep this family in our prayers and offer whatever support we can.
*Should anyone reading this want to know more about how they can know Jesus Christ as their personal savior and ever present friend, please feel free to message me on facebook or email me at email@example.com. Allie, rest in peace!