I found out today that my good friend Brad Ils and his wife Trina lost their youngest daughter yesterday. Aleeya was 16 years old and had a blood clot land in her lungs, and she died instantly while she and Brad were shopping together at Target. Brad pastors one of our daughter churches, Turning Point Church, that meets in Turner.

Unexpected deaths are hard, especially if it is a 16-year-old daughter. Life is often a puzzle as we try to figure out why God does certain things a certain way, and this kind of event is probably one of the most difficult to make sense of. We all would like the “why” question answered for a lot of things, but God doesn’t usually come through on that question. Job asked “why” a dozen times and he never got an answer. Someone asked me once if I thought God would give us answers once we were in heaven. I think that when we get to heaven, we will know all the answers, and they will make perfect sense and will demonstrate both God’s wisdom and His love.

Brad and Trina have a great advantage over many other people who go through this kind of trial because they have a strong faith and a close relationship with the Lord. They know that Aleeya is in heaven with Jesus experiencing incomprehensible joy because she loved the Lord and was in His family. We don’t mourn because Aleeya somehow got a bum rap and missed out on so much of life. There is nothing she would have done in this life that comes close to what she is experiencing and doing now. We mourn because of our own loss of someone we loved and will miss. But we will see her again very soon by God’s standard of time. That is why the Bible says we mourn, but not like the world does because they have no hope.

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