Gratitude and Full redemption

I’m borrowing Katie’s words tonight.

Her mom died yesterday – young, hip grandma, loved the Lord with her whole everything – recent cancer diagnosis, a few days in home hospice, and she was gone.

Since Mom’s death on July 9th, when I hear stories like Katie’s – like her mom’s – I have found a compassion in me that I’ve never tapped into before. I can only think that it’s the promise of the Lord in his word – from 2 Corinthians, chapter 1:

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

Our Comfort abounds. Indeed. Anyway, I have to be careful because I’ve always been the dramatic type, and I can tend to take other people’s stories onto myself, which becomes a skewed form of entertainment. And if you’re still with me after that admission, then you must be a real friend.

But I digress.

The Lord has been my comfort. I have experienced His nearness and goodness in ways that I can’t really explain. I have had moments of hopelessness, of anger, and of real sadness. But I have never doubted that God is sovereign, and good, and worthy to be trusted, even in this.

So when I found Katie’s post last night about her dear mom, something in me grieved so deeply, but I also felt like the Lord watered a seed of hope deep within me. I ache for her, for her family. And I still believe that God is good. Like Katie does.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2010

 

Redeemed

This morning I woke up early.  I went right in to see my mom.  The last couple of days I’ve done my bible study near her and even though she doesn’t really respond, I still read some of the verses out loud to her.  She loves the Word.  Today she was just such a faint shadow of herself.  It was hard to even read the verses out loud…  I placed my hand on her stomach and prayed once again that God would heal her from her pain, from her sickness, I prayed that she would live so that I could have her longer in my life, but more so that He would get the ultimate glory for stretching out His mighty arm to heal her.  I read about Abraham about how God parted the red sea and I prayed this verse:

LORD, I have heard of Your fame;
I stand in awe of Your deeds, O Lord.
Renew them in our time, make them known!
Hab 3:2

I prayed believing, and prayed asking Him what His will was.  I wanted to know what He would do, I had grown so weary from waiting…  from watching my mom slip further and further away from whom I have known her to be.  And then I came across this passage:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the sons of God.  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.  And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
Rom 8:18-25

This is her calling:  to eagerly await her adoption as daughter, the redemption of her body.  She belongs with Him.  She is His beloved, His child, His daughter.  It could not have been more clear to me.  She belongs with Him.  I needed to come to the understanding that, when praying for healing, God’s discernment is ultimate and it is good.  He has taught me that there is no shame in asking and hoping and that He is, in fact, mighty to save.  There are times when He discerns that He will hold off on the adoption of one of His children so that His ultimate good can be done, and then there are times when He decides that it is best to take His child. So I sat there with my mom, crying and praying, realizing that she would be best with Him, happiest, most fulfilled.  And I knew that, while He could heal her, He was not going to, He was going to take her.

And He did.  She left this world this afternoon.  She is no longer here.  She has been redeemed.

Sadness washes over us, but it does not take our hope.  We will again Praise Him.  We will bless His name forever and ever.
Here is how Abraham started his faith journey:
“By faith Abraham when he was called,
obeyed by going out to a place which
he was to receive for an inheritance; and he
went out, not knowing where he was going.”
Heb 11:8
And that is how we will start our journey now; without my mom, by faith, not knowing where we are going. And, like my mom, we will go out and lead a life of love, eagerly awaiting our adoption as sons of God.  Our lives will never be what they were.  Please pray for us.

 

And now we turn the corner to Thanksgiving. Dad is coming down, he’s cooking [how blessed are we?!] and hanging out for a couple of days. Thursday is November 25th – Mom and Dad’s 56th wedding anniversary. They were married on Thanksgiving Day 1954 – Mom spent a year as a teacher [she HATED it!] and the only time they could get even a brief honeymoon was over Thanksgiving weekend. They were married in Platteville, vacationed in Chicago, and were back to work near Madison on Monday. In 2004 we hosted a dinner for their 50th anniversary – also on Thanksgiving day that year. So it has such a special meaning for us. It will be hard. Yes. But it will be good.

I am counting on it.

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My Sentiments Exactly

windy fall

Autumn Movement by Carl Sandburg

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.

The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go, not one lasts.