In Memory of Meg

I met a beautiful, sweet MU soccer player about three years ago. She was one of the babysitters I was in charge of for various church events. She was one of those people that I knew I could always count on and I really enjoyed talking to, as did the other sitters. I remember her caring so gently and calmly (even in the midst of chaos) for the kids. When I’d walk by she was often reading a book to or playing on the floor with a 1-year-old or perhaps leading a group of 2-year-olds outside to play with bubbles. I have also heard from many sources that Meg loved the Lord and lived a life that reflected her faith in Christ. Admittedly, I didn’t know her well, but Meg (or “Meggie”) Malm was one college student, among the masses at The Crossing, who always stood out to me.

Although my knowledge and personal relationship with Meg ends about there, what great sadness I felt after finding out about her death last Thursday. I cannot even begin to fathom the pain, numbness, and heartache so many are feeling right now and will be feeling for a lifetime. What should we make of a beautiful, talented, God-fearing, young woman like her dying so tragic a death? If God is in control of all things, then why did this happen? Of course, only the Lord—the same God who promises to work “for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)–knows the answer to those questions fully. But, with these questions, thoughts, and feelings lingering all weekend, God brought two things to my mind. I am so thankful that He is already using this precious young woman’s life to draw me closer to Christ.

The first thing is this: Life on this earth can be gone in an instant. No matter your age, status in life, your beliefs. Only God knows and even ordains the number of our days. And, our brief and unknown number of days matter more than we can even fathom. What we believe and how we live in light of those beliefs matter more than anything—more than making money, more than our success in our careers, more than getting married, more than being thin, more than getting our “to do” lists done, more than anything. But, in the humdrum of everyday life, I forget that. Meg’s death has once again awakened me to the reality of God. It has reminded me of the importance of living a life of trust in Him, obedience to Him, and service to others. Thank you, Meg, for living a life (imperfectly and by God’s grace, like all of us) that points us toward Jesus. I pray: “Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life (Psalm 39:4)” so that I may remember to live for you each day.

The second is this: The only hope I have in this life is in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Everyday busyness, the worries of this life, cultural pressure, and my sin all make me apathetic and, if I’m honest, doubtful at times of biblical Christianity. But without the Gospel, Meg’s death and my life and all of our lives are meaningless and hopeless.

“She was a good person.” When someone dies, this seems to be the default line of encouragement to those who grieve. (In fact, someone just told me that yesterday about Meg as a source of comfort.) However, as I’m sure Meg would tell us if she were still with us, no one is “good” of his or her own strength. No one can do anything good for God with perfect motivation. And, certainly no one can ever earn their place in heaven by doing “good” things. We always fail. It’s impossible to get to God without Christ!

What hope there is in the Gospel, then. And, what great joy we can take in Meg’s secure place with Christ right now because He died for her sins and conquered death. He brought her to God, made Her part of His family, and has given her an eternal home with Him in heaven. Without the Gospel, without God, without Christ…there is no hope in life or death. “To Whom shall I go?” Peter pondered, if not Christ. Meg’s death reminded me once again that it’s only on “Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.”

If I hardly knew Meg and God has already used her life and death in my life, I have no doubt He is doing the same in many lives across Missouri, Iowa, and perhaps the country. Please feel free to share with us any stories or thoughts about Meg on this blog so we can know her better. I’d also love to hear anything that God is teaching you from Meg’s life or death.

What glory Meg Malm and her 22 years on earth have brought to God! Thank you, Lord, for bringing her into our lives and to The Crossing and for giving her an eternal home with You in heaven today. May you give her family, friends, co-workers, and teammates comfort, peace, and an awakening to the True Reality of this life and our only source of hope.

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