Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Love Them During Their Earthly Hours

In the Book of John, Chapter 11, we find the shortest verse in the entire Bible.  It simply says, “Jesus wept”.  The chapter talks about his dear friend, Lazarus.  Jesus is away when Mary and Martha send word for Jesus to come quickly, for their brother and his friend was dying.  Jesus asked where they laid him and they pointed the way and even as Jesus knew he was going to raise him from the dead, Jesus cried.  Jesus probably cried for both mourners and the joy of raising Lazarus. 

What strikes me the most in this story is the realization that Christ knew exactly what the mourners were feeling.  God knows when we suffer and he knows the turmoil in our hearts.  When the scripture tells us that those who mourn will be comforted, the comfort comes from the realization that God knows our pain.

My mother passed away on March 1, 2012.  I still can not believe she is gone and am just now in the midst of the grieving process.  All around me are people who are mourning and struggling with their feelings.  Some are overly sensitive and others are on an emotional roller coaster.  Still others are quiet and withdrawn while some lash out in ugly anger at others.  Regardless of HOW we mourn our comfort can be found in realizing that God KNOWS, first-hand, what it means to mourn.

The loss of my mother is devastating and has wrinkled my heart for the rest of my life.  I was honored to be at her bedside when she entered life eternal and trust that she is in God’s care.  As I work through the loss of this amazing woman, my mother, my hero, the brightest star in my sky, I continually marvel at the moments of peace that overcome me.  The tears flow from my eyes with remarkable ease and just as quickly the waves of comforting peace.  I’m not sure how to respond to either outward sign of emotion.  But I know from where my strength and comfort come. 

My strength comes from God as does my comfort.  I am comforted in the knowledge and belief that Mom is free from the earthly pain that she bore, not only the cancer, but other ailments through the years.  I am comforted and strengthened through my faith in God, Christ and Holy Spirit working together to comfort and welcome my mother to life eternal. 

The issues of this world seem so much smaller and insignificant in light of our mortality.  What will it take for YOU to decide that life is too short to argue over the little things, to spew hate from your mouth or written word, and to grumble and complain about things outside your control?  Have you expressed how much you love someone and in the same breath berated them to others? 

On my mother’s death bed she said to me, “how is it that one person can feel as much love as I do right now?”  She knew that she was loved.  The outpouring of support and love was evident as many people came in to visit, some came to pray, some brought food for family, many flowers were given, and the electronic greetings and concerns were almost too much to keep up with.  But she KNEW because people went out of their way to tell and how her.  People don’t know until we tell them.  Go now and tell someone exactly how important they are to you – now – do not wait.  And should the day come that you mourn their loss, know that God has you in His arms, in His care, and He knows, first-hand, what you are going through and He will not leave you and He will see you through this.

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