Life and Death are in his hands…

Today was an interesting day.  We received two pieces of news today.   One was regarding my best friend’s grandmother, an old woman who has lived a long time.  One regarding the tiny unborn baby of our niece, a baby who we have only been aware of for a short time and who we have not yet been able to meet.  And we took a friend a meal, a gesture of love to a man who just lost his wife.  This couple is in their mid-forties, a time when life should be marching forward at full speed.  

My best friend’s grandmother passed away today after a long struggle with her health.  I received word of her passing while eating lunch with my husband.  I can’t say I was shocked; after all, I knew she was ill and not doing well.  I have either known Mom Mom or known of Mom Mom for most of my life.  In recent years I had the opportunity to visit with her in her home after my best friend moved to Chicago and wasn’t able to get home to see her often.  At the time I lived very close to her, just 10 minutes away.  So it was easy to stop in and visit with her, and to get to know her better.  She was an interesting woman to talk to.  And she loved to talk, to tell you about her life.  She had some very strong opinions and was not afraid to share them.  As her health failed her, Mom Mom was forced to give up much of her independence.  She had to leave her home that she loved to move in with her daughter so that she could be taken care of. 

Our niece has been married for a short time, and she and her husband are expecting their first child.  Today they had an ultrasound that revealed the gender of their baby.  They are having a little girl.  It is such a thrill to my husband and I to know that she is becoming a momma and that her little girl is healthy so far and developing right on schedule.  This news is a true cause for celebration for our family!

Our friend and his wife  have been together for 29 years, since they were in school.  They had a very active life together, they had plans.  Those plans were interrupted by cancer.  We took a meal over to our friend today, and talked with him for a bit.  He told us about the day his wife died, the day she went home with her Savior.  He had such a peace about him, yet such a sadness.  It should not be so that someone so young should watch the love of his life die. 

Life and death.  It is an endless cycle that we all participate in.  I have heard it said that we are dying from the moment we are born.  We expect to die.  Someday.  A long time from now.  When we are really old. 

Right now death is the furthest thing from the minds of our niece and her husband and our whole family.  We are concentrating on the miracle of life!  This precious little girl who is tucked safely in her mother’s womb, growing and developing and preparing to come out and be a part of our family.  It is amazing to realize that this little person was created by God, created with a purpose for her life.  God knew about this little person before the foundations of the world were laid.  He determined the very moment in history that this little one would appear.

My best friend’s grandmother lived a long life.  She was quite the character in life and lived it the way she wanted.  She spent the last few months and years struggling with a body that was just shutting down.  A body that was living out the principle of dying from the moment we are born.  Though it is sad news indeed that this woman is gone from us, it is not a shock.  She lived to an old age, just like we are supposed to do.  It is amazing to realize that every day of her life, from the moment of conception to the moment she breathed her last was known by God.  Before the foundations of the world were even laid, God knew when she would be born and when she would die, and what she would accomplish in between.  He had a purpose and plan for her existence. 

Our friend’s wife was a young woman.  So full of life and plans for the future.  Married to the love of her life.  She got cancer.  That dreaded “c” word.  She fought for all she was worth, but in the end she lost that battle.  Now her husband, our friend,  is now left alone to grieve.  We often struggle with things like this.  We ask why, because she was so young.  Because people aren’t supposed to die that early.  It is amazing to realize that God knew, and even appointed the exact moment of this woman’s  death before the foundations of the earth were even laid.  He had a purpose for her and she touched so many lives in the time she lived.

It is so easy to believe in God’s sovereignty when anticipating the birth of a baby.  It can get a bit harder, but still a doable thing to trust his sovereignty when an older person dies.  It is, after all, the normal course of things.  But when we face the death of someone in their prime, when we see the people who are left behind to feel their absence, it gets quite a bit harder.  Harder to trust that God is in control and has a purpose.  Harder to rest in His peace.

It is true, however.  In Him all things were made, and by Him all things were made.  Each and every one of us are purposely put on this earth at the exact time and place where God Himself purposed.  And we will be on this earth until that purpose is fulfilled.  He knows when each person who is alive, was alive or will be alive will come into existence and when that life will end.  He is sovereign and He can be trusted.  I am thankful for that reminder as I witness the cycle of birth and death occur, knowing that He has defeated death and someday this cycle will be broken.

Amen!!!

 

 

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