I can truthfully say, with a hurting, but thankful heart, that the Lord is preserving me through this trial.  I stand softened and malleable to his loving hand as He bathes my raw wounds with His love.  I experience a heightened sensitivity to his presence in the depths of my pain.  I believe I am growing in my faith and trust in Him.  I understand and accept the truth that God purifies us through affliction.  For the Believer, suffering draws us closer to Him.

But what about Hans?

What I am having difficulty with is the thought that Hans did not live long enough to suffer the hardship and affliction that would make him more Christ-like.  This, apparently, was not ordained for him.  He did not have a chance to grow to ripe maturity in the Lord or to produce sacrificial fruit for Him.  He did not have to suffer heartbreaking losses or work through the uncertainties of life while desperately leaning on the Lord for purifying strength.  He didn’t experience privation or desolation to the point where there was no help other than what the Lord would provide in answer to prayer.  He didn’t get a chance to build up much treasure in Heaven.

Or did he?

I know full well that Hans is not missing out on anything.  Much as we miss him, we know that he is complete, fulfilled, and satisfied and is enjoying being with his Savior and with his brothers and sisters in the Lord.

What I cannot know is what transpired in the spiritual realm in the final moments of Hans’ life here on earth.  With his injuries, I do not know if he was capable of conscious thought.  But could it be that one does not have to be fully conscious to commune with the Lord?

As death overcomes the body and the believer passes into life eternal, in the last moments of grace, is the still small voice of the Lord the last and clearest thing a child of God hears on earth?  Is our spiritual receptivity at its peak at this very moment?  Despite the sirens, the shouting, the broken glass, the cold night air, was Hans keenly aware of his Lord’s presence?  Were his ears filled only with the voice of God?  Did the Lord whisper to Hans, I have a job for you, here’s what it will cost you, are you willing?

If so, I would like to believe that Hans’ heart whispered back,

Yes, Lord.

It seems to me that it just cannot be possible that Hans will suffer loss of reward simply because his earthly life was short.  Perhaps leaving his family so soon and so abruptly was part of some special assignment the Lord has for Hans.  I do not think Hans would have volunteered to sign up for dying young in a car crash – not many of us would.  But, he was the kind of guy that usually ended up doing jobs that nobody else really wanted to do simply because the thing just needed doing.   Maybe this was one of those jobs.

I believe with all my heart that the Lord has a purpose for what happened to Hans.  I do not need to know right now what it is because I will see the whole picture when I get to Glory.  I would like to know now, but I do not demand to know now.  I trust Almighty God was working the night of the crash and that He is working now.  I trust He will reward Hans as He sees fit.  Being present with the Lord is reward enough.

I cannot remember the source but, years ago, I heard the following quote on the radio and it stuck with me.  It was a program dealing with infant loss and miscarriage and it went something like this:

“The littlest [or shortest] life has fulfilled its purpose, if only to increase our longing for our heavenly home.”

Hans’ life has most definitely accomplished that.

And I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story.

Preview or purchase 'Never Ceasing: God's Faithfulness in Grief' by Kim Nolywaika

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13 thoughts on “Precious

  1. Kim,

    Young lives lost may increase our desire for Heaven but they also leave a living legacy in the lives touched by their presence. Han’s life, his faith, continues to have significance here on earth. Through your writing others learn of his commitment to Christ, but even if you’d never written a word about Hans he’d still have an active legacy in this world. Others have been changed in big and small ways through interaction with him.

    We bemoan lives lost far too soon, but their too soon deaths don’t diminish their value and import to the kingdom of God. Jesus Christ is the supreme example of an individual whose life touched few (relatively speaking) here on earth but carried a legacy that has touched millions. And there are others who led every day lives and have legacies reaching far beyond what anyone would have ever imagined.

    Kayla Mueller, 26, an unknown human rights activist and humanitarian aid worker was killed after being abducted by ISIS and left behind a strong testimony of faith. Jim Elliot and his fellow missionary friends (see Through Gates of Splendor) deaths inspired an upsurge in men and women responding to the call to serve Christ as missionaries and pastors. Dustin Chamberlain, whose death birthed Dustin’s Dream which helps built medical clinics in third world countries. Each one of these young believers lived lives of relative obscurity. However, had their deaths not resulted in media attention they would still have carried a legacy for Christ. Maybe the rewards not won through fiery trials in young lives are earned through the legacy left behind for the cause of Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the term you use, Janet – “living legacy.” I also appreciate you pointing out that “even if [I’d] never written a word about Hans he’d still have an active legacy in this world.” In the early days of grieving, I sometimes felt compelled to write so as to keep Hans from being forgotten. That motivation has eased some but what you have said here helps to take the pressure off even more. It’s not up to me. People may forget, but He never does. Every life, no matter how “short”, is important to the Lord. He can and will use each of His children as a testimony of His own faithfulness; He doesn’t necessarily need to grant them three score and ten years down here to accomplish that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Revised Post: Precious | You Can Trust Him

  3. Matt - Broods, Butterflies, and Bible

    Kim, thank you for your faith-filled outlook on one of the hardest things a parent can go through in this life. Knowing that our Luke is much happier growing up with Jesus and will be there to greet us has been a great comfort to my wife and I. Watching God use our little boy to reach others for Christ has been both comforting and encouraging. So many times, our children are the best evangelists.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Matt & Sara for reading and for your kind comment. I know you are hurting right now even as you trust our Father with His perfect plan. I pray His comfort and peace would be ever so real to you both. Your trust in Him is a tremendous encouragement to me. Thank you.


  4. “As death overcomes the body and the believer passes into life eternal, in the last moments of grace, is the still small voice of the Lord the last and clearest thing a child of God hears on earth? Is our spiritual receptivity at its peak at this very moment? ” Oh, how I pray it is so. My Dominic passed from this life to the next very quickly and I often think of those seconds or moments. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, in the first weeks after the crash, I would get very upset thinking of those last moments. Was he afraid? Lonely? Suffering? Did he have any conscious thought at all? But I believe God was right there with our Hans at the most important and exciting moment of his life. Thank you, Melanie, for taking the time to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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