For, “All flesh is like grass, And all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, And the flower falls off, But the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word which was preached to you.
1 Peter 1:24-25
Yesterday I got a phone call. It was one that I knew was coming but prayed that it would tarry.
My mom has gone to be with Jesus. She had a six year struggle with poor health and narrowly skirted death at least once before. Day by day we watched her grow weaker and finally she collapsed and went into cardiac arrest. She died quickly without pain. For that, I am grateful.
I asked God for a verse this morning and I looked at the two daily verses I get in my email. The passage above from 1 Peter was the first one and I knew that this was God's word for me today.
I'm staying now for a little while at my parents' house with my dad. We both need to fall into each other's arms and cry long and hard....but so far neither of us has been able to reach to the other and do that. We're keeping a stiff upper lip and saying all the right things...except not the ONE important thing. And that is: My heart has been torn from my chest. Please share your tears with me.
My mom was not a cuddly woman. But she loved deeply. She fought like a tiger mom for her cub when she felt I was being neglected or when I was sick and they thought I would die and she thought it was the last time they would see me alive. The guard came to the ICU to tell them visiting hours were over....Mom ferociously defended their right to say good bye in their own time....
My mom and I pretty much got along like oil and water. But we both loved each other deeply. Old hurts had been put to rest long ago and now we lived in a cease fire zone and had peace together in the past few years. And so it is now that sorrow has come home to roost untainted by past strife.
My mom was a poor farmer's daughter who attended a one room schoolhouse and had no plumbing in their home...merely an outhouse to service their needs. She was the youngest of four kids. She had some traumatic memories of her youth and had struggles to get beyond that and to forgive and then move on. Mom attended college...I think the only one of her family who did...except for a sister who was a nurse.
Mom met my dad while attending Nyack College in Nyack NY. Once my dad graduated they married and mom worked at finishing her education...however little Cindy (yours truly) came along and soon plans were made to move to Denver CO. for dad to attend seminary.
I won't tell you their life story. But I will say that they had a marvelous marriage. Sure, storms came and problems and sickness as well as serious financial struggle but their love remained true and faithful. They were married 55 years I believe. My dad remained devoted to my mom throughout her very last moments on earth....and now is left to manage as best he can without the one he loves and his best friend.
Death is a fact of life. A fact that God never wanted....although he knew it would come. And the idea did not catch him by surprise. In Eternity past the Godhead elaborated and put into motion a plan: one that would pay for man's rebellion and sin and He did that so that mankind could dwell with him in Eternity future....And for all these eons of time, He has been elaborating His plans and designs to make the New Earth (Heaven) the most delightful place for this Beloved (God's people, the Church) as possible.
And now mom's spirit awaits its reunion with her resurrected body at the end of time (and the beginning of Forever)...and because we know "to be absent with the body is to be present with the Lord" --we know she is in the temporary Heaven and is in God's presence ...in the embrace of Jesus and being ministered to by angels. And there we will one day join her...
The flesh is like grass....but God's plans and purposes and His Word are everlasting. Nothing can impede His will or defeat His plan. These are SECURE, FIRM, UNSHAKEABLE facts and the future holds only joy for His redeemed...and that joy is separate to the conditions of our bodies. Pain will no longer matter, nor will poverty, starvation, disease, Jihad.,,....wars...none of these things has the power to shake God's plans for His children. And in this we rejoice --even in the midst of our sorrow.
Thank you to those of you who prayed for my mom. Now please direct your prayers to heaven on my father's behalf. God bless you .