Recently, we held a memorial for my sister’s life. Our home church, The Encourager in Houston, TX, very graciously opened their doors and we had about 75 in attendance to show us their support, hug our necks, listen to our stories and freely mingle with each of us and love us one at a time. We even had friends who drove from out of town and we were very very thankful and encouraged by their presence. Frankly, I was shocked by the folks that ventured out in the cold (here in Texas anything in the 40’s is cold) to bring a meal to share, a card to read and last but not least – a hug. The hugs were the best part of the day.
And Now There are Three
Old. It has a strange ring to it. I’m not sure what to think about it yet. My sister moving to heaven has stirred my heart and made the reality of our bodies inability to live forever very very real to me. Also, just last week, I heard of a woman in her mid forties who suddenly transitioned into the heavens. What do we do with this? Hard to wrap your mind around something so surreal. Then another long time friend contracted a bacteria that ate some of her body so much that gangrene set in and to the husband’s despair, the doctors gave her a zero percent survival rate. Shocking to them both as they had discussed his move to heaven one day due to his own maladies but never talked about hers. Miraculously, she is alive today and her move to her own house again is around the corner. However, her move comes with great adjustments because they had to remove parts of her body in order to allow her life to be preserved. She is learning how to walk, use her opposite hand and unsure of the future in her vocation.
What do we do?
What on earth do we do when life takes a turn down an unexpected path? Spouse moves to heaven. Job ends. Sibling dies. Divorce comes to you. Best friend betrays you. Another friend turns away from God. What next? Who is going to take care of me? of her? of you? Interestingly, my friend whose life has been preserved gave me this scripture when we visited recently:
Psalm 73:28 – But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Thy works. NAS
The nearness of God…the nearness of God…the words echoed in my spirit as she told me how that one phrase – the nearness of God has been her Alma Mater for many many years. The nearness of God when we are young and the nearness of God when we are old. HE will care for us my friend – HE is nearer than we understand – our Parent – our Friend – ultimately, HE will be our Caregiver whether we are young or old – HE cares for us. Through another warm individual – friend or family member – God will provide someone to be near to you. For some amazing reason which I do not understand, God allowed me to have the privilege to love my sister even to her last breath. Though it was a strange and fiery moment in time, I’m in awe how he did not allow her to be alone. HE knows our needs better than we know our needs. I would have never chosen me….but God did and so I encourage you to let God choose you for His assignments and let His nearness be your good. Then, you will find His refuge. Tell of His works. Let others know your availability and let His nearness in and through you be refuge for another. No – you cannot be at everyone’s beck and call but HE has a call for you and HE has a call for me and if we will listen and love and let Him have His way, we will invariably find ourselves in His nearness doing His good for those around us.
So we must all make a new decision to trust Him. Be BRAVE! HE has instilled courage into us. Be BOLD and step into relationship with God and with the community around you. Embrace a fresh RESPECT for yourself as you step into His nearness and refuge. Take ACTION this day to be VICTORIOUS over your past! Be ENCOURAGED for God is near – He will never leave you or forsake you from very young to very old. #BEBRAVE
Who is going to take care of me when I’m old–God will take care of you and me because HE is faithful and so draw near to Him and let His nearness be your good and I will do the same.