I have been thinking a lot since dad passed on.
While morbid thoughts come and go, I do not think they should paralyze me.
After all, there is the life I need to live.
What about the questions I have on death and life and how to go on? They still need answers because death is a certainty. It is good to prepare and face up to this reality.
As I ponder, God led me to His Word.
In Psalm 139.13-16, God said He made me and He knows all about me even before anyone saw me.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
God knows that I will face trouble, tough times and death. But He gives me assurances of His strength and deliverance. This is what Jesus told His disciples in John 16.33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
And hear what Jesus said to the weary in Matthew 11.27-29
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls….”
God told me what He has in store for me in Jeremiah 29.11
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
God, our Creator and Maker, who knows us so intimately, knowing that separation and death are hard to bear, had pursued us to reconcile us to Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ. With this, I have come to see the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in a new light. The ever familiar John 3.16 reminds me that AT THE MOMENT when I receive Jesus into my heart as Lord and Saviour, He is with me FOREVER to empower me to live rightly with Him because He has broken the bondage of sin in my life. God has also offered me, through Jesus, ETERNAL living with Him and others who have said ‘Yes’ to Jesus. NOTHING can separate us from Jesus.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Truly, when I embrace the cross, all my wonderings are quietened, my anxieties are relieved and the will to live is rekindled. But how should I live, knowing that I have been redeemed?
37Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Psalm 39.4-7 is my prayer to God…
4 “Show me, Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
even those who seem secure.
6 “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
without knowing whose it will finally be.
7 “But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
So I resolve to live serving my God, rising up to the call that He has given me and thereby gaining true and deep satisfaction because I know that my life, although a breath, has a purpose.
2 Corinthians 5.14-15
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
Although it was very trying on those mornings when I was at the hospital with dad, God’s Word gave me great comfort. He assured me that He knew what was going on and He was near to dad and me. What a wonderful God who comes to us!
Psalm 138.3, 8(NKJV)
3 In the day when I cried out, You answered me,
And made me bold with strength in my soul.
8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
3 When my spirit grows faint within me,
it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
people have hidden a snare for me.
4 Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
no one cares for my life.
5 I cry to you, Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
11 the Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.
14 And he has raised up for his people a horn,
the praise of all his faithful servants,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the Lord.
Without the knowledge and comfort of his Presence, I know the sense of hopelessness and despair would have consumed me. While dad didn’t openly profess his faith, but because God gave me assurances from His Word and through a cousin whom I keep touch with occasionally, I know I will see my daddy in heaven.
You know, every elderly man I see remind me of my dad and his frail body. It is my prayer that if he is someone’s father or grandfather or even an uncle, that he will be loved and cherished and he will experience the Greatest Love of all.
Yes it will be difficult and there will be times of guilt, doubt and fear. But Jesus, my Advocate, who knows my weaknesses will not condemn me. Instead, He is always interceding for me.
31If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
I will never forget daddy. God has given me many beautiful photos, wonderful memories and His Everlasting Hope. I think I will still cry when I think of my dad. The heart remembers. I am grateful that God patiently gives me time and space to grief and He brings His comfort at the most appropriate time.
Thank you Daddy God that because You live, I can face tomorrow.
Thank you Daddy God that because You live, there is no need to fear.
Thank you Daddy God that because You hold the future, life is worth living.
Thank you Daddy God for teaching me how to live and die without regrets.
Thank you Daddy God.
See you both in heaven.