What a mix of emotions today: joy and gratitude, pain and sadness.
This morning’s Facebook status explains my joy and gratitude…
“(I) just paid the very last parent payment for my daughter’s college education! Phew! It feels kinda like I’m graduating, too. Thank You, Lord, for seeing us through these past four years. You have been so good to us!!!! We did it! You did it! THANK YOU!!!!!”
The number of likes and comments indicates many of my readers have either been there or are there right now and doing the happy dance right along with me. It’s good to be able to celebrate life’s joys and accomplishments and give God the glory for His good provision. I can’t wait to see her in her cap and gown. Makes a mommy proud.
And now the pain and sadness…
Soon after my elated post above, I learned some hard news. One of my son’s friends from youth group was found dead this morning. Back in the day, they were in a worship band together, my son on keyboards and this young man on drums. I don’t know a lot of the details. I only know that this dear boy is gone much sooner than expected and those who loved him are hurting and left to begin to deal with the loss and sadness death often ushers in.
Honestly, I had a lot to do today. Things piling up that needed tending to. But, I put some of that aside for just awhile to feel. To curl up in bed with my beloved shihtzu and cry and pray and phone a friend. And after a time, I felt ready to write. Sometimes when the weight of things bears heavy, I don’t know what else to do. So, I go to the piano. Maybe it’s an attempt to transfer some of that emotion onto ivory keys and try to make some sense of it all. My baby grand, like an old friend, simply sits with me in whatever I’m feeling and lets me unload some of it, so we can “carry” it together. Somehow it serves to lessen the sting…
We don’t know why
We don’t know when
It always seems to come too soon
And so we cry
And hang our heads
We don’t like death, but we make room
We make promises to never waste another day, another minute
And to hold the ones we love a little closer
We make promises to never hold a grudge against another
To uncover what is wrong and make it right
We make promises
That’s all we’ve got so far. The blogging helps as well. In times like these, we remember the Great Hope. We stop in our whirlwind activity and allow ourselves to rest awhile in the Everlasting Arms. We let Him hold us, the ones He loves, a little closer.
Though not usually wanted or welcome, the passing of a loved one affords us another chance to surrender everything, to confess our smallness, and to pledge our remaining days to the One Who knows their number.
I read ‘A Prayer’ by 18th-century British evangelist, John Wesley, just this week. I shared it from the platform at the Celebrate Life concert this past weekend in Texas. It seems appropriate to share here as well…
I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what You will.
Put me to doing. Put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for You,
Or laid aside for You.
Exalted for You,
Or brought low for You.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things,
Let me have nothing.
I freely and wholeheartedly yield
All things to your pleasure and disposal.
And now glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And this covenant now made on earth,
Let it be satisfied in Heaven.
As my son said of his friend, he will be playing drums in heaven now. I smile at the thought. You know you’ve hit it big when Heaven becomes your permanent gig. I don’t suppose they have a VIP section though, because it’s implied that every one who goes there already is.
All this has me thinking about seeing the movie ‘Heaven is For Real’ tonight…
Because I’m counting on it,
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him…” 1 Thessalonians 4:11