By Michael Zimmerman, First Lutheran Member
Three years ago this week, my Dad died in an accident. It was a sudden, debilitating, life-changing tragedy.
I remember when writing my eulogy that I wanted to find a way to help my family reconcile with what happened and why.
I spoke about a passage in Philippians we’re all familiar with:
And the peace of God, which surpasses
all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds
in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:7)
This Scripture felt right at the time for multiple reasons. There was peace in the fact that my Dad passed suddenly, and was free from his long-term health issues. It also reminds us that we aren’t capable of knowing what God knows. We couldn’t have predicted he would die when he did or how he did. It serves as a reminder to us all to never take anything or anyone for granted.
All that said, the loss—like any—had lasting side effects. My wife, Erin, and I were married two months after the accident and our wedding day was missing someone very special. We later moved to Lincoln, and felt guilty about living a longer distance away from my Mom, who was still struggling to adapt to life on her own.
Peace was fleeting, or it felt like it was.
On the latest anniversary of the accident, though, I didn’t wake up with grim thoughts. Throughout the day, in fact, I couldn’t help but picture my Dad being with Jesus. I felt joy at that image. No, I felt peace.
Then later in the day, when I called my Mom to check in with her and make sure she was okay, she said the exact same thing. She said she woke up that morning with peace, too.
I don’t know about you, but that is a peacefulness that surpasses all understanding. Yes, it may have taken time to acknowledge it, but it was and will always be there. Praise be to God!