This morning, Lindsay and I made our way up to North Carolina to say our last goodbyes to Danny.
At the funeral, they played the song “I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin, said a prayer, and Pastor Jeff began speaking about Danny and his life and how he was positive Danny knew God and loved Him and is in heaven.
Then Danny’s mom and three brothers went up and shared memories of him.
Pastor Jeff spoke again, and this time he talked about Danny’s suicide and why he did it. Pastor Jeff read a little bit from one of Danny’s journals, and he said it was obvious that Danny was a deep thinker and loved theology. He also loved people so much and he wanted everyone to know Christ’s love, and for all the pain in the world to be gone. He said that Danny prayed all the time for Christ to return, and he was anxious for that to happen. Jeff equated Danny’s longing for Christ with Paul’s longing for Christ in Philippians 1:21 when Paul says, “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” In this passage, Paul is contemplating the benefit to both life and death because he desperately wants to see Christ. Danny felt the same way. However, Paul chose life and not death because, as it says in Philippians 1:23-26, “I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.” Paul knew that God’s plan for his life wasn’t finished and that he needed to be alive in order to continue helping other people. Danny made a mistake by cutting his life short, because God still had things planned for him.
God has a plan for each of us, a plan to prosper us and not to harm us, a plan to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Don’t go one more day without God. Ask Him to change your life, and He will. Put your trust and faith in Him, and you will never be alone again. God has a purpose for you.
It was good that I went to the funeral. It was sad, I cried a lot, and I’m still sad for Danny’s family, but God used today as a day of healing. Now we’re not wondering what was wrong, we know that Danny wasn’t depressed, and there was nothing wrong. Danny was in the same situation as Paul, and he chose the wrong path. Suicide is never the answer; God doesn’t plan for anyone to commit suicide, but since Danny did, God will use it to His glory.
On the way home, Lindsay and I were listening to Sara Grove‘s CD “Fireflies and Songs,” and her song, “Joy is in Our Hearts” came on. It spoke directly to what had just happened, and it was such an encouragement to hear. The song reminds us that even when we’re burdened and suffering, it’s good to be with other Christians and remember that we have hope in Christ through it all.