Summary: A funeral message for my sister-in-law.

-Family and friends, we all wish that this day had never come, at least not so soon

-There is a simple maxim in life that gets violated from time to time that rocks a family

-The maxim is that parents are not supposed to bury their children

-Jack and Betty, for you this maxim has been violated three times

-We expect to attend the funeral of our grandparents and bury our parents.

-We even expect to lose siblings and spouses but not before we are using a cane and our hair turns white

-But losing loved ones before they even hit middle age just seems wrong

-There are certain rules that shouldn’t be broken and when they are they force us to ask some hard questions and may even lead us to question our faith and our God

-How could God allow this to happen?

-Why could a loving God cause one family so much pain?

-What are we supposed to learn from this?

-Those are all great and very common questions during times like these but we will get to them later {PAUSE}

-One thing that I remember about Tessa was that she like to dance

-The first time that I met her she came up to Wausau to visit Linda

-Linda and I were dating at the time

-Linda and Tessa were goofing around in Linda’s basement, making up silly dance moves

-Tessa really liked to dance

-It’s curious that Tessa loved to dance as much as she did

-Many people in her situation wouldn’t take the time for such silliness

-Many people with her background couldn’t bring themselves to dance

-Tessa had a hard life

-Y’all know because some of her life is your life too

-Tessa lost an older sister to cancer when she was only a child

-She had to cope with a mother who suffered a stroke in her prime

-She had to deal with the challenges of a being the baby in a large family

-She had to undergo the difficulties that are associated with a family when their parents divorce

-Tessa’s life was not easy

-There was not much to dance about

-What moved her to dance? {PAUSE}

-You know, I’m reminded of the story in 2 Samuel 6 of King David.

-As you recall, David’s life was not an easy one

-He grew up as a shepherd boy, the baby of the family

-The least likely of the sons of Jesse to be named king

-He served an evil king who regularly tried to kill him but never tried to take revenge or even try to usurp the king even when he had already been anointed

-David even wept when he heard that the king and his son had been killed in battle

-Even when he had the opportunity to kill King Saul’s cousin, the commander of Saul’s army, he passed and let him go in peace

-As God finally gave David the kingdom of Israel and David rested from all his battles, he had the ark of the covenant, which held the Ten Commandments and the place where God promised His glory would dwell, brought to Jerusalem

-As the great procession came into Jerusalem, David danced, the Bible says, with all his might

-He danced so hard before God that his wife was embarrassed by his actions

-Psalm 30 is a song written by David for the dedication of the temple that his son Solomon would have built

-He writes that God turns David’s wailing into dancing

-David, even though his life was filled with pain, losing three of his own sons, could dance knowing that he served a God that loved and cared for him even more than he loved and cared for his sons

-You see, God knows what it is like to lose a child {PAUSE}

-There is a great video that someone sent me via e-mail

-It is the story of a man and his son

-They loved to watch the trains roll by their tiny community

-The man worked for the railroad as a bridgemaster

-One day the young boy noticed that a train was coming but that the bridge was up

-The boy raced to the bridge to hit the emergency switch to close the bridge

-Trying the reach the switch he fell under the bridge

-As the train quickly approached, the man had to make a choice: save everyone on board the train and crush his son under the weight of the bridge or let the people die and save his son

-What would you do?

-The bridgemaster throws the switch and crushes his son, saving hundreds {PAUSE}

-Brothers and sister, that is what God has done but even more so

-Losing a loved one at this time of year puts an exclamation point on what God has done through Jesus Christ

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