Friday, December 20, 2019

Merciful God

In early June of this year an inner clock was set off in my head and in my heart, as it has been for the last two summers. In June of 2017 I got a call from my sister and she told me she had been diagnosed with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. She said, "Do not look it up online." But of course I did. The prognosis was bad, but I hoped for better.

And then the clock ticked on into November, as we approached the holiday season. I couldn't push aside the memories of my sister's battle - excruciating days for Myrn and all who loved her. 

And now as we approach December 22 the day is coming - the anniversary of my sister's death. And I can't help but think, If only she were still here.

I cry easily these days. She is close to me all the time, but not close enough ... for a chat, shared prayers, or a hug. Every night I tell her I love her, cry a little, and then I tell her goodnight.

So, why am I sharing this? It's been two years. I shouldn't be missing her so much, right? Who can say how long grief will linger. My father died when I was only 23 and I still miss him, and grieve the many years we didn't get to share.

It seems to me that mankind was not created for this kind of loss. God gave us a perfect and eternal life, and then we messed it up. In our selfish demanding way we accepted the lie of the enemy and rebelled against God. And now we pay the price.

But God is not without mercy. He sent a Redeemer, Jesus Christ. And as the day approaches to celebrate His birth, I am reminded that God made a way for us. I miss my loved ones who have already moved to heaven, but I am promised there will be a grand reunion one day. Praise God for His goodness. We don't deserve such mercy and love, but He offers it anyway.

The only catch is that we need to reach out and accept the gift. We have to set aside our own arrogant pride and determination to have things our way and say, "Yes. I believe. Father, please accept me into your family." Immediately God pulls us into His arms and holds us close. He will never let go.

What follows our decision will be unique for each of us. There will be trials as well as great and beautiful moments, even triumphant moments. It won't necessarily be easy to walk the path God chooses for us, but we are promised that He will join us on our journey and in the end welcome us home.

Today I mourn my sister's absence and so many others, but my heart is comforted because I know our farewell is not forever. I remember her rejoicing over all the precious moments we shared and I look forward to our joyful reunion.

I pray for all of you who grieve and whose grief is intensified during the holiday season. It's okay to weep. But in your sorrow reach out to The One who promises to one day wipe away every tear. He will comfort you.

Grace and peace to you from God,


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