Lament turns to God in pain, tells him why we are sad, asks for his help, and leads us to trust. The morning after Tyler passed, I woke up early and wrote a lament. It was what my heart needed. I was really sad, and yet I knew that God is good.
On the first day of the new year, I felt the paradox of Christianity.
While on vacation in the Grand Canyon, I forced my family to get up early so that we could watch the sunrise. I dreamed of witnessing the first light of the new year over the mile-deep canyon. A winter storm dumped a half a foot of snow the night before, making it look like someone sprinkled powdered sugar over the massive rock formations and deep ravines.
As the sun broke over the eastern sky, the Grand Canyon flooded with hues of red and purple. A rainbow appeared. The first light of the new year penetrated the cold canyon, and the clouds melted away. A clear, blue sky prevailed overhead.
My eyes became a portal for my soul. I stood speechless at the grandeur of God’s creation. My heart was filled with worship. It was easy to be thankful.
A few hours later on our drive home, a text arrived that I feared might be coming soon: “Tyler Trent just passed into heaven.”
Cancer Came Three Times
Not only was I his pastor, but I had been his basketball coach, and he was a friend of our boys. Based upon what I was hearing from his parents, who are dear friends, I knew Tyler was entering his final days. But the sober reality of that definitive text was gut-wrenching.
Over the last four years, I’ve watched Tyler and his family battle osteosarcoma. I’ve seen, firsthand, Tyler’s steadfast faith in Jesus. I’ve prayed for his dad as he told Tyler that he had cancer not just once and not twice — but three times.