Goodbye to a Friend and Gratitude for the Gospel

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death. Rev. 21:4

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Rev. 21:5

Most sovereign and compassionate Lord Jesus. Certain days intensify our ache for the Day of no more death, and all things new. Today is one of them for many of us. Yesterday, Jay Swartzendruber—loving husband, friend to droves, son of God, servant of the Gospel, went Home.

Only fifty-three—his smile radiated your welcome, his servanthood revealed your grace, his passion fueled our longing for your kingdom. His was a life well lived.

Thank you for validating our shock, encouraging our grief, and giving us tears. Standing before your friend’s grave, you wept before you, raised Lazarus to life. You revealed your anguish before you exercised your power. It’s good and right that we should feel sad.

Jesus, may your tear-wiping hand bring tender comfort and palpable hope to many—especially to Jamie, Jay’s bride. In these coming weeks, may we ponder the brevity of life, the riches of your grace, and the gift of friendship.

Life is simply too short to be misspent, the Gospel too glorious to be ignored, and relationships too precious to take for granted. So very Amen we pray, in your wonderful and merciful name.