“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” -Psalm 126:5-6
I remember feeling lost after my father passed away, kind of like losing a compass and having no direction. Not hearing his voice in the house was strange — not hearing the Volvo roll into the driveway, his laugh, which was hearty or hearing him sing to himself — which I’m fondly remembering as I write this article. I missed my Dad greatly.
My sister’s death left me stunned because I knew God was going to give me my own bonafide miracle. You see, my other sister, Wanda (whom I love dearly) took care of my sister, Renell, her first time on dialysis. Renell went into a depression state, having to be on a machine for three hours a day, three times a week, it isn’t fun.
Wanda literally put her life on hold to take care of Renell, who was also in-and-out of the hospital for various ailments. It was at this time that Wanda grew in her relationship with Jesus and has been a pillar of faith in my family ever since.
I was with Renell for her second time on dialysis (by this time, Wanda had been married and moved out for several years) and would take her on my days off, which were on holidays (I would relieve my mother). Renell and I had fun though, in spite of it being her second time on dialysis, she knew what to expect and instead was a source of inspiration to the other patients at the clinic.
As I said in my previous Words of the Week, after finding out she had cancer, Renell committed to doing what was necessary. I took her to radiation treatments, just like I did to all her appointments, pharmacy runs, consultations, etc.
Wanda had told me this was my time to get a closer relationship with the Lord as it was similar to what she had to go through the first time. I felt that God was going to heal Renell, a miracle I was all to ready to write about in the Sentinel, but she died. She passed away on a Sunday morning — the hospital called the house, she had flatlined and they couldn’t revive her.
I remember seeing her there, in the E.R., just laying there and almost getting into it with a male nurse who disagreed that God couldn’t bring her back right then and there. I waited for news that she wasn’t dead to come ringing on the telephone from the morgue. I even held out to the day of her funeral for her to scare the crap out of everyone and rise from her coffin.
There were times I felt like God changed His mind about healing her (some of my siblings were feeling the same way) but God doesn’t change His mind. His will is done. I miss my sister greatly.
When despair, pain and misery come into your life, the Lord is a comfort that will endure until He returns again.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46
The Lord carried me through my darkest day (my father’s death) and my deepest grief (my sister’s death) and I’m still here — happy, content and at peace. Do I feel their absence? Yes, very much and I shed tears every now and then, but the peace that God has given me hasn’t gone anywhere. God gave me time with both my father and my sister — and they both loved on me and I have nothing but wonderful memories to carry me until I see them again in glory.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
It’s real, saints! God’s Word is something we can and should take to heart and that is such a wonderful thing. We all live in a world where sin runs rampant, our flesh is always working against us and Satan is ready to take us out. Nevertheless, God is in control — all things, powers, principalities, demons and otherwise need His permission when it comes to us!
God allows things to happen in our lives, whether good, bad or indifferent. He has a plan for us and it requires us to be refined, which means we will have to go through adversity in this life. We can trust Him because He said He would never forsake us and when all is said and done, we will give Him the glory.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11
We can rest assured that our Heavenly Father, who is all-good, all-powerful and all-knowing, has the ultimate best is store for our lives. Life isn’t going to be easy. After accepting Christ, it often becomes a battlefield, but you need to fight! God is worth it and Jesus is right by our side!!
Don’t be afraid of despair, pain and misery because they are nothing in the presence of the Lord. I know for myself how good God is because of the grief I endured and I wouldn’t trade that even if my father and sister were resurrected in front of me. I wouldn’t undo any of it because I’ve come to know Jesus for myself.
Thank you Lord, may the seeds you plant in our lives be watered by our tears and in due time, reap the harvest that is life with your Son, Jesus Christ forever. Amen.