6 September 2007
Recently, hubby’s aunty who had lung cancer went home to the Lord. I was very sad. Many thoughts went through my mind but I didn’t know who to talk to and how to word them. One question kept recurring: will it happen to me? God knew what I was thinking. He reminded me of three important things:
1. Focus on what is certain.
Death is a certainty. When I pondered over this, what came to mind was Ecclesiastes 1:2-3
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?
Whatever one eats or doesn’t eat, whether one is rich or poor, wherever one may be, one cannot escape death. So why eat, why toil, why bother? I could feel my adrenaline coming to a halt.
But there is hope. Eternal life is also a certainty. John 3:16 says
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
I felt a battle waging in my mind. Then came the next reminder.
2. His ways are not my ways.
Matthew 3:11 (underline mine)
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Based on the above reference, Oswald Chambers in ‘My Utmost for His Highest’ on August 22 asks ‘Have I ever come to a place in my experience where I can say – ‘I indeed – but He?’ Perhaps death is one such experience. I can only echo what Job said in Job 42:3
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.
3. The Lord is MY Shepherd
That Sunday following, a brother shared a message on ‘The Mystery of Life’. He said there are only two things we need to learn in life: how to live and how to die. Simply put, but not simply done.
He went on to share a very interesting story of how a preacher tried to teach Psalm 23 to a group of little children. The preacher cleverly condensed his abstract message to the five fingers on his left hand as seen on the right. This is what the fingers represent:
Thumb – The
Pointer – Lord
Middle – Is
Ring – My
Pinkie – Shepherd
After his brief sermon, he told the children if anyone wants Jesus to be his Lord, he can take his right hand and hold the fourth finger on his left hand. Later on, a child who died in a snow avalanche was found frozen with his right hand holding onto the fourth finger of his left hand. As I sat there listening, this simple truth also hit home: when I ask Jesus to be my Lord, nothing can take Him away from me. I want to hold onto my fourth finger on my left hand.
I know of God’s purpose for me: to serve Him where I am – as a wife, as a mom, as a daughter, as a sister, as an aunty, as a friend. Am I doing his will?
Subsequently, came news of a couple more friends passing on. Once again, I felt the dread looming over me but the Lord was gracious. He had taught me the theory and wanted me to put it into practice. Yes, I feel the loss, the grief and the anxieties. But would I focus on the fear and be paralysed? Or would I seek His will for me even more fervently?
Whilst saddened, God has answered my prayers; one of which was allowing me to see aunty one last time at my in-laws’ birthday dinner about a couple of weeks before she passed on. As the pastor at her funeral service related how she trusted in God simply, I felt comforted knowing that God had prepared her to meet Him.
In view of these, I consciously remind myself to hug the children often, to tell them I love them, to cherish the times with my family and friends and to encourage all who come my way. I pray to remember Romans 13:8
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another…
I pray I won’t live and leave with any regrets.