Debra Whittington: Notes from the Church Lady
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die Ecclesiastes 3:1-2. When someone we know is going through a crisis there are times that all we can do is pray for him or her. I know from experience this past week that it was prayers that saw me through the death of my Grandma.
It was those prayers that guided me on the road as I traveled home. It will be the prayers that take me through her funeral and that final goodbye. The past week seems like a bad dream. Although I knew that someday Grandma would go home to heaven, I was never prepared for her passing.
Even when I stood by her bedside and watched as she hung on with every breath she took, I couldn’t think about her passing. It was so hard to let her go. When the end finally did come, all I could feel was peace that she wasn’t suffering anymore. Later I thought of Paulís words in 2 Timothy 4:7: “ I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faithÖî Grandma fought to the very end and finished her course here on earth.
The Bible tells us there is a time for everything, even dying, and mourning for those who have gone home to heaven like Grandma. At the same time, there is a time for joy as I rejoice over the love and care of the Lord especially during the past week. When the world seems to get us down, it is good to rejoice and praise the Lord for all He has done. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we are told: “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Now while I find it hard (more like impossible at this point in time) to rejoice about Grandmaís passing, I know it was the Lord’s will that she not have to suffer on this earth any longer. Instead, I can rejoice that she lived a long, good life. I will praise the Lord because I have seen His mighty hand at work and give thanks that He is in control and not me. In the hospital, I read the Psalms and they gave me comfort. Now, when grief starts to overpower me, I plan to turn that grief into praise to the Lord. One of my favorite Psalms that gives me comfort over and over is the 23rd Psalm. It says: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
If you are going through a difficult time now as well, remember these words and know that our mighty Lord will see us through that valley until He takes us home to be in His presence forever and ever.