This week I attended the funeral of Tyler Trent, who quickly became known throughout our nation because of his love of sports, Purdue, and, most importantly, Jesus Christ. He was an incredible witness to the love of Jesus and the hope of the resurrection as he battled cancer and now has achieved the ultimate victory.
Like many people who followed Tyler’s story, I marveled at the impact he made, and I often wondered what it was specifically about his story that led millions to identify with #tylerstrong.
Without question, God’s providence permeated Tyler’s witness. This was truly a “God thing.” And through faith, Tyler responded with grace, dedication, and a determination that bordered on the supernatural. In fact, it was beyond the natural.
Part of the #tylerstrongresponse, I believe, is also because of our human longing for hope. Tyler gave people hope. He demonstrated that whatever you face in life, whatever your “cancer” may be, there is hope through Jesus Christ.
So many people feel they live insignificant lives with no real . . . hope.
I recently read about the Voyager 2 space probe launched in 1977 to explore interstellar space at the speed of 34,000 miles per hour (John Stonestreet, “BreakPoint Daily”). Last year, 11 billion miles from earth, it officially became the second craft to ever leave our solar system, and it only took 41 years to get there.
Amazingly, Voyager 2 is still transmitting data back to earth, giving us “first-of-its-kind” observations on how massive our universe truly is, and how small we earthlings really are. Consider this. For Voyager 2 to reach the nearest star to our sun would take an additional 40,000 years, and that would only cover a fraction of the Orion Arm of the Milky Way galaxy. And the Milky Way is only one of at least 100 billion galaxies in the visible universe.
So, here we sit on a teeny-tiny planet, which is part of an itsy-bitsy solar system, which exists in one miniscule location of the Orion Arm, which is part of one nanoscale galaxy called the Milky Way, which is only one of 100 billion other galaxies in our known universe.
And yet the God of this awe-inspiring, breathtaking, mind-blowing, jaw-dropping, wondrous universe chose to use one young man named Tyler Trent to inspire millions. “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 82:3-4, NIV).
What Tyler demonstrated for us all is that this God of the universe chose our little planet to reveal Himself most fully through His Son, Jesus Christ. He bridged the gap to give Tyler life, purpose, and the hope of eternity, and Tyler made it very clear that God has done that for you, me, and the entire world as well.