This was at the end of an e-mail that I received from a friend who I had been writing back and forth with on Saturday. Given the news we had learned recently, it was an understatement. A few weeks ago, someone we had grown up with had committed suicide and, more recently, some very sad and upsetting news had come out about him. I don’t want to go into any more detail than that, because it’s not my place and it’s not why I’m writing about it. I had not known him since high school and was not even particularly close to him growing up. I do know that I can’t think of anyone that didn’t get along with him. Even though we weren’t friends, there is still a connection when you grow up with someone as early as preschool or kindergarten. All of this news left me in a daze and trying to deal with how to process everything. It was all very complicated.
Growing up as a Christian, I’ve realized from time to time how easy it is to gloss over a Bible verse that you’ve read many times and never fully understood its meaning, or you read it and it strikes you differently than it did previously. Philippians 4:7 is a verse I’ve read and heard many times. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (ESV) Peace that surpasses understanding was a concept that my mind had glossed over or never tried to fully grasp. And in a situation where I was finding it difficult to process and reconcile contrasting pieces of information this verse popped into my head.
It is comforting to know that when we have a hard time understanding something that is difficult to deal with, whether it be someone’s death or a difficult ordeal that we are going through, God’s peace transcends. It’s not saying that we should seek to be ignorant and not try to understand things. But there is a limit to understanding. We may never know the full story about some things. With others, we may just have a limited capacity for understanding. There will always be unanswered questions, which can be incredibly disappointing, frustrating, or hard to accept. Life is complicated. But God’s peace transcends the unanswered questions. It helps us to live with the complicated. If we seek it, it’s there for us. I’m finding renewed comfort in that. And it is my prayer for those who are struggling even more so with the loss of this person in their life.