May 20, 2024

Good morning, Dearest Friends,

On Saturday afternoon, May 11, several of us from the Imagine Church family gathered with Julie Van Slambrook, her sister Sherry, and members of their families to honor and celebrate the life of their mother, Mary Edwards, who departed this life and entered the Life Immortal on April 26, 2024.  Mary had a full, productive, and meaningful life, having been born in Ireland, marrying in London, and then helping raise their family in California, Italy, and Japan.  

Later that day, I began to think about how God views suffering and death in light of the total experience of life.  There are more than six billion people alive today.  Did you know that a hundred of them die every minute?  A hundred.  152,000 people will die today — and God knows every one of their names.  God sees death differently than we do.  Our task is to trust God and to say, “God, my life is yours, as long as I have life.  When I go through suffering, teach me.  Use it as an opportunity to help me serve you more faithfully.  And in all things, O God, I entrust my life to you.”

Our life is a gift from God, no matter how long it lasts.  And God’s perspective on our lives is this:  God knows that, even if we live to be 100, that’s just a blink of an eye compared to eternity.  God knows what stands on the other side of this life, and God says, “If you just understood, you would find that death itself is a great source of celebration” as we move into his eternal kingdom.  

Some people, in the midst of suffering and tragedy, turn away from God.  But some people in the face of suffering and tragedy say this is precisely why God is here.  God did not cause this, he didn’t bring it, but he promises to sustain us.  God is our hope, and an ever-present help in time of need.

Paul said it this way:  “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28), and “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).  

That’s why atheism, I don’t think, is the answer to the human questions of life and death.  It doesn’t change the equation; death still happens, whether you’re an atheist or a believer.  You’ve just taken away the one source of hope and strength.  Let’s not do that.  God is your hope, and an “ever-present help in times of need” (Psalm 46:1).

May we always believe in God in the midst of the storms,

Bruce Jones, Pastor

Imagine Church

Church Admin
Church Admin