At 11:10 last night, our long-time employee and good friend, Joy Evans Ayres, went home to be with Jesus after a year-long battle with cancer. She will be so deeply missed.
As I have thought about this inevitable day for Joy, I’ve been reminded of 1 Thessalonians 4:13, that we don’t grieve like those who have no hope. Yes, we feel the deep pain and anguish over the loss of someone we love dearly. We grieve because we no longer have the joy of that relationship in our lives.
And it hurts.
But we don’t grieve for Joy because we know she had placed her faith in Jesus and His atoning death on the cross for her salvation. So we know she is with Jesus.
I love the perspective of 1 Peter 5:10-11 given to suffering believers in the first century. Peter writes:
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
At 11:10 last night, God, in His grace, called Joy into His eternal glory where He, Himself, fully restored Joy. And now… and forever… she is strong, firm, and steadfast in Jesus.
I believe this is why the Psalmist says in Psalm 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants.” When Jesus called Joy home, it was a precious moment to Him because He could finally restore her, releasing her from the curse and brokenness of this world.
Please be in prayer for Joy’s family and for her husband, Luke. This has been a long, hard ordeal for them and I know they would covet your ongoing prayers.
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” I Corinthians 15:54-56
Joy stands in victory today in the very presence of Jesus. And what a victory it is.