"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).Today we are all mourning, and that's as it should be. The family is bereft, and so are the many people who love and support them. Their little one...loved one...is gone for a season, and he will be sorely missed. His sweet smile and spirit will move from conscious mind to memory, and empty arms will ache to hold him close. But Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle, and siblings will be upheld and renewed by the knowledge that their son, grandson, nephew, and brother lives on...and their reunion with him will be the sweetest joy imaginable.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Yesterday was a horribly sad day for a family I love very much...which means it was a horribly sad day for me, too. It had been a perfect morning, the sunny but crisp kind that makes me believe anything is possible, and I was filled with warm thoughts of my mother (whose 85th birthday it was) and how fortunate I am to have her still living and loving me as I prepare to turn 60 next month. Her goal, set several years ago, is to be sitting in the audience when our son Todd graduates from medical school...and the way she's going I won't be a bit surprised if she makes it to that red-letter day and beyond.
In the meantime, they are in my prayers today. And I hope, perhaps, they will be in yours, too.
For this and many other reasons, I was feeling happy and blessed when the phone call came that would replace serenity with sorrow. The daughter of two of our dearest friends woke to find that her 7-month-old baby had slipped away in the early morning hours, a crib death, and it felt as if the very heavens were weeping. Born prematurely, this valiant little soul had fought his way through numerous struggles, one after another. To the joy of family and friends, he had emerged from those early battles victorious, only to go to sleep perfectly healthy and stop breathing before the break of dawn. It was and is unthinkable, and the large community of people who love and support this family are joined in grief and sadness.
We are also joined in hope, because we know God lives. We know that He loves His children. We know that He has a plan for our eternal salvation and happiness, a plan that included the sacrifice of His only begotten Son, who would take upon Him all the sin and sorrow of a world created by His hand. Because of Him––His willingness, selflessness, holiness––the dead will rise again, and the grave has no victory. No matter what we pass through in this life, no matter the pain, no matter the devastation, His love is and will continue to be sufficient for our needs. He is our Shepherd, our Redeemer, the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, the Savior of all the World. He is Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, Beloved Son of the Almighty God. He is our Elder Brother and Friend.
How grateful I am that this young mother and father know Him. They have faith in His power to heal and bless them, and their hearts are open to receive the peace and comfort only He can offer.